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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

CO2 report for end of September

This record, from the NOAA-operated Mauna Loa Observatory, near the top of Mauna Loa on the big island of Hawaii, shows the steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the year 1700. The graph is called the Keeling Curve, named for Charles D. Keeling who began current measurements in 1958. The level then was around 316 parts per million. We are near 400 ppm today. While the most recent numbers are just below 400 ppm, recent readings have exceeded that level.

Taken from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography web site:

"Scientists make CO2 measurements in remote locations to obtain air that is representative of a large volume of Earth’s atmosphere and relatively free from local influences that could skew readings. The quality of data is verified before daily average values are determined.


"Concentrations are currently approaching the symbolically important value of 400 parts per million. The continued rapid rise in CO2 ensures that levels will rise far beyond 400 ppm before they stabilize.  If the pace of the last decade continues, carbon dioxide will reach 450 ppm by the year 2040. Carbon dioxide is the most important man-made greenhouse gas, produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. The pace of rise depends strongly on how much fossil fuel is used globally."



If pheasant hunters buy duck stamps, so can birders

In the Fall issue of the magazine published by the conservation organization “Pheasants Forever” is an ad encouraging readers to buy a duck stamp. The magazine is subtitled “A Journal of Upland Conservation,” which it is. It promotes hunting, to be sure, but it’s understood that without habitat there will be no birds to hunt.


Duck hunters must buy a stamp; it’s the law. Pheasant hunters need not do so. Many of them buy the stamp anyway because they understand that stamp money is spent on habitat acquisition. This is habitat used by songbirds as well as game birds, many times more songbirds.


Which is why birders also should buy duck stamps. Duck hunters have carried the weight of this program for decades. Gradually, non-hunters are realizing that they too have a horse in this race. Habitat is habitat. It’s good for songbirds no matter the source of the money. There is no better conservation investment of $25 than for purchase of a stamp.


Stamps are available at post offices and some major sporting-goods stores.


Game-bird hunters generally are decreasing in numbers; age is thinning them out. Birders are increasing in numbers. We have a job to do.


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