“In 2012 the world crossed an ominous threshold. A reading of 400 parts per million [ppm] of atmospheric carbon dioxide was recorded by monitoring stations across the arctic.  That is at least 50ppm higher than the maximum concentration during the last 12,000 years, a period that allowed us to develop agriculture and civilization.” At the Edge of the Roof: The Evolutionary Crisis of the Human Spirit

From Spiritual Ecology Edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Quote from loc 574 on Kindle Edition


“On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958.”



I am saddened by what appears to be either a misprint [“during the last 12,000 years…”] or a misunderstanding of how CO2 and temperature varies profoundly [at least over the last million years] in an approximately 120k year cycle of around 90% massive glaciation and low average atmospheric temperature and a 10%  is the interglacial period of approximately 12,000 years.  Up until the present interglacial period, human population has had from very little to no effect on these cycles.  These cycles have been authenticated by several research projects of which the Russian Vostok station in East Antarctica is arguably the most well known.


Also well documented and validated is the behaviour of the atmospheric temperature and CO2 ppm which varies with much the same pattern.  Thus, we can observe from a graphical presentation that both temperature and CO2 rises sharply to a sharp peak and then almost as quickly plunge.  Details may be found here:  https://www.google.gr/search?q=vostok+core+samples&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bPzLUtG1G


So my point here is that all recorded cycles reveal high CO2 content during the peak of the interglacial warm part of the cycle. CO2ppm will always be the highest during the peak of the interglacial part of the cycle.


What then is the point?

What I suggest IS the point, however, is that the graphs of various ice core drillings reveal that CO2 has never been this high in at least a 800,000 years.  Average temperature have been this high or higher before but never CO2ppm.


It has been 3.6 million years since CO2 has been this high.  http://www.skepticalscience.com/pliocene-snapshot.html


I don’t need to reiterate just why CO2 is a problem.  Both common sense and overwhelming scientific research and scientist’s consensus point to anthropogenic factors involved here.  Just what are they?  The most well known factor is, of course, the human industrial infrastructure that burns such huge quantities of fossil fuels at a rate exceeding what Gaia can balance out and/or absorb.  Thus the greenhouse effect is driving average global temperature up.   I won’t repeat  the well known details of what has been driving temperatures in the past.  See: http://www.earthenspirituality.com/glogal-warming/


The Gaia Theory

There is another factor which is seldom cited.  It seems to only come to mind when the obvious question is asked.  I admit, the question appears to only be obvious to a few, myself included.


What has driven the temperature down sharply at the end of previous interglacial warming periods?


So much talk and media exposure is spent on what is causing the warming.  However, we may be overdue for the temperature drop.  The details of our present Holocene period reveal that the temperature did level off around two thousand years or so and began to drop.  Painfully obvious is the fact that it is now rising.

Now let me be clear.  As I mentioned above, all the cycles are different and our present one cannot be predicted to any extensive degree of accuracy.  Not only do we not have historical details to compare with, but after all we are dealing with a living being and living organisms do not behave like a machine in preciseness. Why we expect this and how well funded climate change deniers capitalise on lack of preciseness is the subject for another paper at some other time.


Let me answer the question above.  We have a lot of scientific evidence to support the analysis of what starts the warming for the rapid temperature increase and ensuing start of an interglacial period.  Not much has been documented about how the tail end, the cooling is forced.  Melankovitch  cycles are a major part of it, but I suggest that they need augmentation.  The juxtaposition of the planet’s angle to the sun’s radiation and  the sun’s distance do decrease, but these factors don’t appear to be able in themselves decrease the CO2 content and thus decrease the greenhouse effect.  So what does?


Trees.  Yes, billions of trees, bushes and tall grass that slowly follow the melting glaciers northward in the northern hemisphere and southward in the southern hemisphere.  This vegetation not only sucks up tons of CO2 but from transpiration helps form significant cloud cover whose overall effect is to increase the deflection of the sun’s radiation more than their addition to the greenhouse effect.  Could we look back at the endings of previous interglacial periods, we would see these billions of trees and miles of long grass and savannah constantly pulling CO2 from the atmosphere; reducing the greenhouse effect adding to the decreased insolation and thereby causing a sudden tipping point for the temperature decline. The complete halt in forest harvesting and massive planting is simply the least expensive and most overall beneficial action that could be taken to mitigate the effects of the greenhouse effect. There are now sacred cows in India; there could be sacred trees worldwide.