After taking samples from 40 sites, CO2 emissions have officially exceeded the safe level, admits NOAA.

NOAA says that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere globally is getting too high. Moreover, a study conducted by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration points out that the Earth has hit a milestone. However, it’s a milestone that shouldn’t be celebrated. This though is a milestone that should be run from and corrected, rather than left to sit and continue to grow. The agency pointed out in March that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere globally reached 400.83 parts per million.

As the globe crossed the 400-ppm threshold, it was documented as the first time in nearly 2 million years that such an environmental event occurred. Humans though are the ones who are feeling the impacts of such carbon dioxide emissions. That’s why it’s so important for humans to fight this, instead of simply accepting the numbers and where they stand. Carbon dioxide emissions impact lifestyle in a variety of ways. They impact the day-to-day life of those who live in regions where this pollution is more common.

Pieter Tans of NOAA pointed out, “It’s both disturbing and daunting,” which describes the feeling that scientists have when looking at this problem on the global scale. It’s so difficult to correct because the problem is on such a massive scale. Even more challenging are the different populations of people, and varying regulatory laws that ultimately challenge moves to correct this problem. In the United States, President Obama has ensured that continued efforts are being made to address the growing problems with regards to climate change and pollution. It begins with carbon dioxide emissions, too.

The changes recently in the “parts per million” count of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been sudden spikes. Just since 1980 the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased a whopping 18%. Some scientists have compared this to an explosion. This explosion of carbon dioxide simply isn’t happening at the speed or scale that it originally did in Earth’s early stages. That’s the big problem at this point. Understanding that things are happening on a different scale now than they ever have in the past because of the technological advances that have come up along the way.

CO2-Monthly-mean

Even more shockingly, the CO2 level of 400-ppm was only one that was reached for a brief time previously in 2012. That level was found in the Arctic and just lasted weeks. Now though, we’ve reached a global reading of at least 400-ppm and that’s something that is an incredible challenge to correct, given how quickly the climate and levels are changing.

Tans went on pointing out, “This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times. Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”

James Butler of NOAA pointed out though that, “Elimination of about 80 percent of fossil fuel emissions would essentially stop the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but concentrations of carbon dioxide would not start decreasing until even further reductions are made, and then it would only do so slowly.”

Understanding that a solution at that scale would only have mild improvements on the overall atmospheric stress that is being put on Earth is shocking. It proves that even the small, incremental changes that humans could make on a smaller scale in the coming years would have a limited impact on the overall health of planet Earth.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Why is 400 ppm considered “too high?” Flora prefers atmospheric CO2 levels between 1,200 ppm and 1,500 ppm. We have even had CO2 levels 11 times higher than current levels and watched mean surface temperatures plummet by between 8°C and 10°C during the Ordovician-Silurian ice-age and second largest extinction event. We have also had CO2 levels between 250 ppm and 350 ppm 270 to 250 million years ago and watched mean surface temperatures skyrocket to between 35°C and 40°C creating the largest extinction event ever recorded at the Permian-Triassic boundary. Which irrefutably demonstrates that there is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 and mean surface temperatures.

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