Your view of CO2
Vote now in our poll, below
If humanity influences the climate, then the mechanism involves carbon dioxide. There’s nothing else we do that scientists have said might affect the temperature or any other feature of the weather.
But could carbon dioxide dominate the climate? It certainly affects the climate, through raising the temperature a bit — that much is non-controversial. Measuring the temperature increase as it’s introduced to the atmosphere is problematic, but it appears as though the first 120 ppmv has the most effect, about 2.3°C; the next 267 ppmv (more than doubling it) adds less than 0.5°C.
Calculations show that doubling CO2 again, to about 800 ppmv, would add another 0.5°C, but at the current rate of increase it won’t get to that level until 2255.
Some people say the greenhouse effect of CO2 is too small to dominate the climate (it has much less influence than water vapour), while others say that, like a poison in the body, you don’t need much to have a catastrophic effect.
What do you think? Does CO2 dominate the climate?
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