Know the Number

Just like those national debt clocks showing you dollar by dollar how high it is, this site has a “Carbon Counter” showing how many metric tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere.

As I post this, we are at 3,642,255,344,781. No wait, now its 3,642,255,367,521…no, it’s 3,642,255,381,988…well, you get the picture!

They have some other interesting resources there as well.

8 thoughts on “Know the Number

  1. In small grey letters at the foot of the named page:

    (…)Neither Deutsche Bank AG nor any of its affiliates, gives any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information which is contained in this document. (…)


  2. Why not count it in terms of percentage of the atmosphere? its .00344%, then ten years later you can say no wait its .00345%


  3. showing how many metric tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere

    Actually it shows how many metric tons of carbon are instantaneously IN the atmosphere. Two differences:

    * It includes non-anthropogenic carbon (which compromises the majority)

    * It excludes anthropogenic carbon that is not in the atmosphere, such as that absorbed by the upper layers of the ocean


  4. So i was pretty close but the point is there needs to be context for disclosure of numbers like this. Providing the % makes more sense and further breaking it down to how much we believe is Man and how much is natural. Also adding some context with how high it is believed to have been in the past would educate rather than mislead. This is the way science should be done, not simply saying this is a big number and assuming that is useful for intelligent debate. Similar data for other gases in the atmosphere might also help.


  5. RS,

    I don’t agree that % makes any more or less sense, but I do agree that context is essential.

    All of the increase is anthropogenic (in fact as pointed out in #5, there is more going into the oceans) and all indications are that CO2 levels have never been this high at any other in the last several million years.


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