Last year, our planet experienced several record-breaking milestones in terms of high temperature. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we also managed to breach a long-standing record involving carbon dioxide. Specifically, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere surpassed the 400 ppm (parts per million) record it hit back in 2013. The last time our planet had that much carbon dioxide in the air was millions of years back, when our earliest predecessors were probably using stones as tools; the world was a few degrees hotter; and sea levels were several meters higher.
After reaching that alarming milestone in 2013, scientists warned that the situation was degrading even further and that within only a short period of time, we would break that record again. And they were right.
On April 18, 2017, scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii recorded our planet’s most grim milestone yet: our atmospheric carbon dioxide level is now at 410.28 ppm. And while this may not necessarily result in immediate dramatic changes in our climate, it’s still a grave reminder of how much we are trashing our planet.
Scientists first began measuring atmospheric CO2 content in the 1950s. Back then, when the industrial revolution hadn’t begun yet, the amount of CO2 in the air was only 280 ppm. But an extremely powerful El Nino took place, causing a number of forest fires that released a considerable amount of stored carbon into the atmosphere, driving up carbon dioxide levels. And human activities entered the picture, most notably, the relentless burning of fossil fuels to generate power and electricity. Our atmosphere didn’t stand a chance. From 280 ppm, atmospheric carbon dioxide content increased by about 42% to its current level.
What exactly do these horrible numbers mean for us? Simply, carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to climate change. Which is why there’s a global initiative to reduce carbon emissions. Only by decreasing our carbon footprint will we be able to save our planet from further degradation and the fast-approaching apocalyptic effects of climate change.
As explained by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans in a press release: “The rate of increase will go down when emissions decrease. But carbon dioxide will still be going up, albeit more slowly. Only when emissions are cut in half will atmospheric carbon dioxide level off initially.”
As scientists continue to warn us of the ominous trend towards worsening global conditions, it seems our government wants to continue believing otherwise. Just recently, well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson posted a video on his Facebook page with a staunch warning about how ‘science deniers‘ will bring about the demise of our ‘informed democracy’, and a grave reminder to let science do what it is supposed to — serve our civilization. And less than a week ago, a historic Earth Day March for Science Protest was held, again underscoring how scientists are become increasingly concerned about the way the current administration is handling matters related to science.
With carbon dioxide levels expected to rise rather than fall, and a government that seems intent on going against what scientific experts are recommending, the future isn’t really looking great right now, especially for those who believe in what science is telling us.
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“…Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.”– Dwight Eisenhower, 1961
The carbon dioxide you fear is the most important gas in our atmosphere. Moreover you are participating in a form of Lysenkoism, climate Lysenkoism, to have government intervenes in pure science with political bodies like the UN IPCC. There is no such thing in science as consensus. Consensus is for followers – Science is actually a lonely endeavour done single handed. Sir Francis Bacon, Einstein, Curie, Pasteur led and it took years for the science to turn. The Lysenkoism enters in with NASA, NOAA, and even Bill Nye the self-endowed science guy. Big government science is to be condemned whenever it appears.
Wrong again, consensus is through exchange of knowledge between all scientists, dont believe in climate changes, dont believe in gravity, and they wont affect you!!
CO2 is absolutely no threat. This is just more unfounded fear mongering!
@Rod Said a guy with zero credentials, regarding the entire scientific research community. Please Rod, learn some science before coming on these forums spouting nonsense.
Co2 levels on venus are high, we cut down trees that used to suck up c02. The amazon produces 25% of earths oxygen and use 25% of c02, brzil is eliminating the rain forest. High c02 traps heats, riase earth temps
“Scientists first began measuring atmospheric CO2 content in the 1950s. Back then, when the industrial revolution hadn’t begun yet,” <— the industrial revolution took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, well before the 1950s…
“Scientists first began measuring atmospheric CO2 content in the 1950s. Back then, when the industrial revolution hadn’t begun yet, the amount of CO2 in the air was only 280 ppm.”
Um, the late 1700s called, they want their industrial revolution back.
The statement “carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to climate change” is the junk science foundation of the AWG movement. Anyone who believes in AWG and thinks they have technical understanding should answer this basic question : Did varying atmospheric CO2 concentration cause the ice age temperature cycles?
If one does not understand the basics of orbital mathematics (I’m not saying you must be able to do the calculations) then one does not understand climate change. Without precession there would be no climate change. We are in the midst of an ice age. Happily, we are in a warm valley of the ice age for the past 30k years. We hope it continues but regrettably that probably won’t happen. Forget CO2, I wish it were that easy. When the 19th century theories of climate change were proven by Milankovitch in the 1920s, we had a SETTLED SCIENCE. Don’t throw away that special Woolly Mastadon BBQ sauce, you’ll be needing it.