Here’s a shocker: Antarctica’s CO2 levels are higher than New Zealand


Carbon dioxide levels in Antarctica are the highest they have been in four million years.

There are now no more monitoring stations on Earth measuring an atmospheric carbon dioxide level of less than 400 parts per million (ppm).

On May 23, Antarctica hit the dubious milestone, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced.

The frozen continent at the world’s South Pole was the last place on Earth to reach that level of carbon pollution, NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network Pieter Tans says.

Unlike four million years ago, this time there’s “abundant and solid evidence that the carbon dioxide increase is caused entirely by human activities”, he says.

A few weeks ago a shouty headline told us that New Zealand has passed the 400ppm level.  The suggestion was that we were losing control, that we have a runaway problem with our CO2 levels. At the time I didn’t have the information to understand what it actually meant.

Now that we know Antarctica is also past the 400ppm number, the whole issue really goes into a different context.

First, the air at the Antarctic has to be close to the cleanest air on the planet. It is furthest away from any pollution source. Next, if New Zealand has a very similar CO2 reading, then clearly New Zealand is no more encumbered by CO2 than Antarctica. And last, it becomes painfully clear that nothing we do will have any impact, now or ever.

The volume of air over the southern oceans and Antarctica, when compared with the volume of air we have some “control” over is just so vast, that whatever we actually achieve will not be measurable as it continues to mix and even out.

So, while the rest of the planet is doing little to nothing, especially the CO2 powerhouses of the Americas and Central Asia, any true cost and burden we place on ourselves has no practical value other than to be able to beat our chests and say “we do out bit”.

And all that aside, as scientific data shows, the planet is greening up with deserts receding. That’s change. But, why is it bad?  If it was getting colder there would be people saying that was bad. We just need to note what’s happening, accept it and ensure any long-term plans take the extremely slow changes into account.


– Newshub


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  • JustAnotherLurker

    We’re doomed Cap’n Mannering, DOOMED!

  • Misfit

    tee hee

  • JohnO

    Maybe that increased CO2 at antarctica will increase the average temperature from – 49 to – 48 over the next 10 years through the greenhouse effect. What a dramatic change to the icebound continent. It may thicken the ice cover from 1.8 ks to 1.9 ks over a thousand years. The present Ice sheet began when CO2 was at 700ppm rather than the 400 ppm it has reached now. Increasing CO2 over 800ppm may cause a problem with melting.

  • KatB

    I’m guessing it’s caused by all those penguin farms down there.

    • oldmanNZ

      its the polar bears numbers has increased.

      • Rick H

        No Polar Bears in Antarctica, oldman.
        They are all up in the Arctic – and doing very well, thanks.

  • shykiwibloke

    Perhaps the carbon measuring equipment can only measure that low. Wherever they put it they seem to be getting a similar reading…….

  • Whitey

    The famous Antarctic Ozone Hole is caused by volcanic gasses from Mount Erebus:

    Could it be that Antarctica’s carbon dioxide is also the result of volcanic activity?

    • Rick H

      That report is a crock.
      The “hole” is a naturally occurring thing due to there being absolutely NO sunlight over the poles in Winter. Ozone is made by the sun’s actions on the oxygen in the upper atmosphere.
      No sun, the ozone depletes. It really is that simple.

      • Whitey

        Thanks for that clarification.

  • Andrew

    It’s not that its changing, it’s the speed of the change.


    • Cadae

      For the entire biosphere, the increase in CO2 is enormously beneficial – the faster the increase the better. Until mankind’s beneficial intervention, the earth had been getting dangerously low in C02. CO2 had been increasingly irretrievably locked up in limestone and fossil fuels.
      NZ stands to benefit from both the increase in CO2 and any resulting temperature increase. The current rate of global temperature change – 1 to 2 degrees per century, isn’t going to hurt anyone – even the IPCC admit that.

  • Misfit

    why was my harmless meme post removed? Pete? more rules we need to be psychic to know.? im done with this site, shame as ive got a lot in common here and contribute all the time but you spoke to me like I was some moron the other day then you can a harmless meme? lost a supporter. goodbye Whaleoilers, if I wanted to be treated like this for contributing Id join the labour party. No loss to me either before you say it Pete.

  • JEL51

    It has been a busy week for this brain, what with influential people not being able to use certain words, the recovery of 2000 yr old butter, not like we haven’t got enough fresh stuff, professors so elite they are too precious to accept any criticism and now some guy is trying to tell us what the air comprised of 4 million years ago!!

    I really would be happy for an explanation of what went wrong with that graph in March. Did somebody down there on the ice sneeze at the wrong time?