CO2 levels measured in Hawaii hit milestone not seen in human history

16 Mai, 2019, 08:34 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • CO2 measures hit record levels not seen during humanity’s entire existence

According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is over 415 parts per million (ppm), far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of homo sapiens.

The scientists said that the 415.26 parts per million (ppm) recorded over the weekend was the first daily baseline reading coming in over 415 ppm. Probably the most alarming comment is that this is one of the highest measurement ever recorded on planet Earth since the existence of humans: "Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago". This is according to the Mauna Loa Observatory who have been charting the rise through their sensors.

"We don't know a planet like this", Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and writer at Grist, an online environmental magazine, posted on Twitter. Carbon dioxide levels were recorded to have soared past the 400 ppm mark in 2016, reaching 410 ppm in 2017.

"We keep burning fossil fuels", Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps CO2, told Science Alert. One year ago, on the same date, Carbon dioxide levels were 411.92 ppm.

Lots of global initiatives have been taken to scuttle the global emission level, but till today, humanity has failed to do proper implementation of any such efforts. "A human didn't exist.#climatecrisis #climatechange". Temperatures averaged 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than they are today and global sea levels were 25 meters (82 feet) higher than they are today. At this time, Carbon dioxide levels are believed to have peaked between 310 ppm to 400 ppm.

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At that time, the Arctic was covered in trees, not ice, and summer temperatures in the far north are believed to have reached around 15C (60F). As a result, the Earth absorbs more heat than it emits, leading to rise in global temperatures.

A record has just been set for the highest ever reading for the level of Carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. 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 a year ago by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The 415 ppm threshold was first surpassed earlier this month and has already risen further. This climate catastrophe will bring with it major health risks and risks of wildfires while slowing down economic growth worldwide and boosting poverty. 'This is clear from the numbers: We know how much fossil fuel is converted into Carbon dioxide each year and emitted into the atmosphere.

The last four years were the four hottest on record and, in spite of the Paris deal and increasing public awareness of the problem, mankind continues to break its own emissions records, year on year.

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