Published On: Tue, May 2nd, 2017

Global Carbon Dioxide levels reach an all time high

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Earth Passes 410 PPM CO2 Levels for the First Time in History

The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our planet is more dangerous than ever, as Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory recorded CO2 levels passed 410 parts per million (ppm) on April 18.

The Keeling Curve, University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography program, which have been recording CO2 levels in the past years, assert that the latest number — 410.28 ppm to be exact — is the highest the world has ever seen. The researchers warned that 410 ppm is just the start of the terrifying records that will shock us in the upcoming months.

In the first-ever carbon dioxide forecast issued by U.K. Met Office scientists, they said CO2 levels could reach 410 ppm in March or April. The latest record brought the forecast to reality.
The high levels of CO2 means we are trapping more heat and causing the climate to change at an accelerating rate. The first time the observatory recorded CO2 levels passing 400 ppm was back in 2013. Since then, 400 ppm became the new normal, Scientific American noted.

“Atmospheric CO2 is now higher than it has been for several million years, as measured in ice cores and ocean sediments,” Dr. Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, told The Indian Express in an email.

“The current rate of increase is about 200 times faster than when CO2 increased by about 80 ppm from natural causes when the Earth climbed out of the last Ice Age, which occurred between 17,000 and 11,000 years ago,” he added.

Human activities which are mostly burning of fossil fuels to generate power and electricity have worsened the problem of carbon footprint. Climatic conditions such as El Nino is also a major contributing factor.

At the December 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. As for the number projected by the scientists, it serves as a point of comparison,”these milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record,” University of Southampton paleoclimate researcher Gavin Foster explained to Climate Central.

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