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Posted Tue Sep 29 2009: from Climate Wire:
Is 350 the New 450 When It Comes to Capping Carbon Emissions?
...Nearly 200 countries have signed a U.N. treaty pledging to avoid "dangerous" climate change. But lately, it seems, "dangerous" is lost in translation. Fifteen years since that agreement took effect, scientists and governments are still grappling with what carrying out its promise means. For the European Union, it means limiting Earth's warming to just 2 degrees Celsius hotter by the end of this century than it was before the Industrial Revolution. That's a goal many experts believe is roughly equivalent to capping atmospheric carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million. But a growing number of countries -- mostly vulnerable ones and small island nations like the Maldives -- say that won't prevent rising sea levels from swamping their coasts. They're calling for an even stricter standard: 350 parts per million, a number endorsed by NASA climatologist James Hansen.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, global warming]

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