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ARD Documentary: Massive Increase in Carbon Dioxide

Status: 01/11/2022 4:23 PM

Climate researchers warn that there has never been such a rapid increase in carbon dioxide as there is now. They are gathering evidence of how climate change, global warming, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are related.

Written by Nick Shader, Thomas Aders, Stefan Vinator, SWR

The Mauna Loa observatory buildings are located high on the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, which at first glance looks like a research station on the surface of Mars. The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has been researched here for decades. There is good reason to build the station at an altitude of over 3,300 meters in the middle of an arid volcanic landscape. Far from human civilization, CO2 measurements are little affected by cities, traffic or industrial emissions.

One of the most important research institutions

The Keeling series of measurements performed here is one of the world’s most important series of measurements related to climate change. Scientists have been continuously analyzing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for more than 60 years. The results are clear: the concentration of carbon dioxide is increasing at an unprecedented rate, explains Aidan Colton, principal scientist at the Mauna Loa Observatory: “What we are seeing is literally an explosion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, on a global scale. This is something that human civilization on our planet has not seen” .

The man is responsible

There has never been such a rapid increase as now. The concentration of carbon dioxide is now as high as it was about three million years ago. Every day, climate researcher Aidan Colton gathers clues about how climate change, global warming, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are related. For him, as for almost all climatologists, it has long been established that massive emissions of carbon dioxide by humans are the main cause of climate change: we can now chemically analyze the carbon dioxide and thus show that it comes from the combustion of fossils. fuel. Carbon dioxide has been proven to act like a greenhouse gas for decades. Therefore, it is indisputable that humans are causing global warming.

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denial of facts

But it is not only in the USA that doubts about man-made climate change have appeared again since Donald Trump. In Germany too, right-wing parties or so-called “lateral thinkers” deny that people are to blame for the misery. However, this is completely contrary to science, where according to surveys, more than 97 percent of all active climate researchers worldwide believe that man-made climate change has long been proven. Renowned climate researcher Stefan Ramstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has been familiar with this discussion for a long time.

It’s been clear to me for decades that many of the arguments from climate skeptics in Germany, including from the AfD, come from the oil and coal lobby in the US – who fund the think tanks that produce these bogus arguments and the bogus expertise of In order to inform the public about climate change to confuse it and present it as if it were still controversial.

Even Climate Protection Secretary Robert Habeck has no sympathy for people who question the scientific facts. In the interview for ARD documentary “Battle for the Climate” He was enraged by the spectacle of denial: “One does not go through one’s life very well with disregard and denial, for one faces the consequences of his denial: heat, drought, and storm phenomena will shake society and societies so severely.”

energy transformation falter

But the minister has a problem. Because the energy transition is still not really gaining momentum, as the current assessment by SWR on wind power expansion in Germany shows. Robert Habeck asserts that his department has paved the way for accelerated development of wind energy. However, some federal states, such as Bavaria, will simply not align with the energy transition, and the Federal Economy Minister criticized the Bavarian state government: “It is not as if I took office to allow nuclear power plants to run longer and coal-fired power plants because renewable energies in The southeast of this republic is not sufficiently developed. That is the reason.” Which is why, according to Habek, you can’t say there are a lot of solar panels in Bavaria – because the sun doesn’t shine at night in Bavaria either.

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The expansion of wind energy is even slowing down

Research conducted by SWR as part of the filming of the documentary shows that the expansion of wind power in Germany has slowed somewhat in the first nine months of the year compared to the previous year. By September 30 of this year, 612 new permits had been issued for wind turbines across Germany. In the same period last year there were 660, in peak years there were twice as many (2014: 1212 statements). However, the differences between the federal states are enormous. According to research by SWR in North Rhine-Westphalia, 146 permits were issued for wind turbines in the first nine months, while expansion in Bavaria (5) or Saxony (7) has almost stopped. Federal Economy Minister Habeck considers this slow expansion to be a major problem:

I get the impression that some states are hiding behind federal legislation and saying that everything is so terrible. But other countries are showing that it is possible. We no longer need governments that are not politically responsible. Time is up.”

The The ARD documentary “Kampf ums Klima” will be shown on November 1, 2022 at 10:50 PM.