Monday, 7 December 2009

Where Do You Go To Measure CO2?

My god - this just keeps getting better. Across the Pacific in what used to be the land of the free, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Mauna Loa Observatory proudly proclaims:
The undisturbed air, remote location, and minimal influences of vegetation and human activity at MLO are ideal for monitoring constituents in the atmosphere that can cause climate change.

Despite the fact that:
Just thirty miles from the observatory, Kilauea's Pu`u O`o vent sends 3.3 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. That's enough to change local CO2 concentrations without producing the kind of SO2 volumes needed to have worldwide temperature effects. Pu`u O`o has been erupting continuously since 1983. Since 2008 it has been joined by a second eruption even closer to the Observatory -- from Halema`uma`u Crater at the top of Kilauea.

Can anybody explain to me why this Observatory's measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration can be taken as evidence that large concentrations are a consequence of industrial activity?

Thank you Brian Micklethwait.

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