An recent post on Accuweather.com‘s excellent global warming blog reports research from the Australian science agency CSIRO, that global CO2 levels are higher now than in the past 800,000 years. The Co2 level reached 390 parts per million last year and as this charts shows, the impact of global recession was just a blip in what is otherwise a continuing upward trend.
Image courtesy of CSIRO
So it was good news to read the other day about research showing that as the temperature increases, plants should be able to continue to absorb excess CO2 from the air. The researchers found that as extra CO2 was added to the plants, they continued to absorb it and CO2 levels stabilsed around 500ppm. Note that this is still way beyond the 350ppm level that scientists at the IPCC think is the level at which a temperature increase of +2C globally can be restricted.
Another piece of good news is that the European Commission has announced plans to introduce accounting of emissions and sequestration of the 3 main greenhouse gases, CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, from Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry, or LULUCF, for short. This is the first step to incorporating this important sector into emissions reductions programmes. In their proposals announced here, the Commission have identified the important role grasslands play in GHG absorption and we will be working with the UK Government to persuade them of the importance of semi-natural grasslands as carbon sinks and the co-benefits that can be derived (eg biodiversity restoration) from increasing grasslands capacity to absorb CO2.