Atmospheric CO2 Hits 415 ppm for the First Time in Human History

Atmospheric CO2 Hits 415 ppm for the First Time in Human History

Atmospheric CO2 Hits 415 ppm for the First Time in Human History

"We don't know a planet like this".

Carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere hit a stunning milestone over the weekend.

According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stood at 415.26 parts per million (ppm), far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, or since before the evolution of homo sapiens. So far, global temperatures have risen by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) since the 19th century or pre-industrial times, according to a special report released previous year by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

According to measurements from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, atmospheric Carbon dioxide has hit 415 parts per million, eclipsing record highs recorded in Arctic Ice samples that date back 800,000 years. Scientists said it was extremely unlikely that the planet will ever drop below those levels again in our lifetimes.

The dire news is simply one in a number of facts and recordings, marking an ominous turn in the fate of the planet's flora and fauna. Rich Pancost, head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, said that the best guess of the scientific community is that global atmospheric carbon levels have not been this high for "about 3 million years. maybe more". Scientists at the observatory have been measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels since 1958. "The year-on-year increase of Carbon dioxide is getting steadily bigger as it has done throughout the whole of the 20th century", the Met Office's Dr. Chris Jones told BBC News. We will have a risk of wildfires, a 25% more hot days, heat waves every five years, flooding, weather cyclones, and typhoons, and more than one million species are risking extinction.

During the Pliocene Epoch, some 3 million years ago, when global temperatures were estimated 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than today, Carbon dioxide levels are believed to have topped out somewhere between 310 to 400 ppm. Experts say this level is the highest in human history.

The Mauna Loa Observatory is a research outpost of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). All in all, this was not a world we are familiar with today. It is only a matter of time, and some of the sea level rises will come quickly.

"Thus, we could soon be at the point where comparable reductions in ice sheet size, and corresponding increases in sea level, are both inevitable and irreversible over the next few centuries", he said. But remember, it is not as if we haven't known about this impending crisis, is it? The rise in Carbon dioxide is definitely caused by human activity; primarily fossil fuel burning says Scripps geochemist, Ralph Keeling. As a result, the Earth absorbs more heat than it emits, leading to rise in global temperatures.

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