July 29, 2012

CO² levels at 400 parts per million

industrial-pollution-150-1.jpgCarbon dioxide levels reach 400 parts per million in Northern Hemisphere

The latest figures show that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen to over 400 parts per million (ppm) across the Arctic and as far south as Mongolia.  These levels have not been seen in at least 800,000 years and scientists suggest that global concentrations will probably remain at around 395 ppm for the time being.


Planetary carbon levels were around 275-280 ppm until the industrial revolution. Since then, the massive and increasing utilisation of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas and also cement production have resulted in carbon levels soaring.  Massive deforestation and industrialised agriculture have also contributed significantly.

While governments around the world have committed in word to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and keeping global temperatures from rising over 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the reality is very different.   According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide emissions rose 3.2 percent to a new record of 31.6 gigatons last year.  

Scientists and experts are now warning that the lack of action is making this target increasingly difficult to reach.  Even the International Energy Agency (IEA) is warning that the world is currently on track to hit 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.  If this happens, scientists predict a climate catastrophe and temperatures higher than they have been since 50 million years ago.

Former Vice-President of the USA, Al Gore, claims that this news: “is further evidence that the world’s political leaders-with a few honorable exceptions-are failing catastrophically to address the climate crisis……. history will not understand or forgive them.”

Source: Mongabay


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