The Global CO2 Threat Level Indicator allows users to monitor carbon dioxide levels worldwide, utilizing a simple online meter. Changes through time are also vividly displayed.

Climate-KIC has created the monitoring system, which allows users to see how fast levels are rising. They hope that such a graphic demonstration of increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) will help lawmakers and the public easily see the serious nature of the global problem.

Atmospheric levels of CO2 have now reached 400 parts per million (ppm), as measured by several investigative teams. Many climatologists believe that if level reach 450 ppm, the effects of global warming could be irreversible.

The meter allows users to see how concentrations have changed over time, from the start of the Industrial Revolution, until the modern day. Using ice core measurements, Climate-KIC shows the CO2 levels were just 280 ppm in 1750. Today, that number stands at 392.09 ppm, as measured by researchers at the Mace Head Research Station in Ireland.  

"We need to know the real size of the challenge and to be able to measure the success or otherwise of our efforts in reducing emissions and mitigating climate change. This new online CO2 meter is the latest step in making that information available to as many people as possible," Jane Burston, leader of the Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory, said.
 
A carbon tax, which would raise the price of fossil fuels, is being heralded as a way of "leveling the playing field," to make renewable sources of energy more appealing to consumers.

Ronald Coase, a British economist, was the first person to propose the idea of selling environmental credits, allowing industry the right to pollute. Governments or individuals can also purchase the rights, denying manufacturers and producers the legal rights to release pollution. The idea was that a balance would be reached, where polluters and private residents could determine local conditions. In 1991, Coase was awarded the Nobel Prize for his ideas.

The World Summit of Regions for Climate, a meeting of leaders from nations and organizations around the world, will take place in Paris on October 10 and 11. Chairing the conference will be former bodybuilder, actor and Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mace Head Research Station, where present-day measurements of atmospheric carbon for the meter are obtained, is considered to be the top facility in Europe for such research. It is located on the west coast of Ireland.

The Global CO2 Threat Level Indicator is available on the Climate-KIC website. 

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