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Forty years of measuring the world’s cleanest air reveals human fingerprints on the atmosphere

Sam Cleland and colleagues write in The Conversation (15.11.16) about data from the Cape Grim air pollution station in northwestern Tasmania, which has recorded some of the biggest changes to the world’s atmosphere over the past 40 years.

‘In 2016, an isolated scientific outpost in northwest Tasmania made a historic finding. The Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station measured carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere exceeding 400 parts per million.

‘This wasn’t the first time the world has breached the symbolic climate change threshold – that honour was reached by the northern hemisphere in 2013 – but it was a first for the south.

‘Behind these recent findings is a history of Australia’s role in global scientific advancement. The Cape Grim station has now been running for 40 years and the resulting data set chronicles the major changes in our global atmosphere.’

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