Cape Grim shows changes

As a key climate monitoring station at Cape Grimcelebrated its 40thbirthday this week, it became apparent 2016 would once again come up trumps as the global hottest year on record.
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The news came with a ray of hope;fossil fuel and industry emissions have remainedstable for the third year running.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) this week released its Provisional Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2016.

The key take home was high globaltemperatures, which are expected to again smash previous records for the hottest year.

“Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016,” WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said.

Data from the Bureau of Meteorology shows for the year to date, Tasmania has had the highest, or in some places greatly above average, mean temperature on record.

The WMO report also highlighted readings from the Cape GrimBaseline Air Pollution Station.

Although global figures for 2016 are not yet available, the statement pointed to observations at Cape Grim, which has the oldest continual air archive in the world, indicatingthe highest carbon dioxide concentrations on the instrumental record.

“At Cape Grim, CO2 levels in August averaged 401.42 ppm (parts per million), compared with 398.13 ppm inAugust 2015,” the statement said.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Director, Dr Andrew Johnson said the work done at Cape Grim, measuring and analysing the air, demonstrated the world’s atmosphere has changed over its 40 years of operation.

“The information and data collected at the Cape Grim Station for the past 40 years has allowed scientists across Australia, and the world, to further understand our changing climate and strengthened our ability to track the progress of our response,” he said.

A range of scientists and experts toldThe Examiner in October about what the impact of climate change will be in Tasmania, ranging from impacts on agriculture to ocean life to insects.

Despite the grim expectations for global temperature for 2016, there was welcome news emissions from fossil fuels and industry have stabilised.

A sharp upward trend in emissions from 2000 has stabilised over the last three years according to the Global Carbon Project.

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