Antartic CO2 Levels Reach Highest Peak, First in 4 Million Years
lunes, 27 de junio de 2016 | Mitigación
Recent studies show record-breaking carbon dioxide levels in Antartica - reaching 400 parts per million - the first of its kind in more than four million years.
The impending doom of rising carbon dioxide levels throughout the globe is closer than before as Antartica breached the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (ppm). Such event has not taken place in the icy area for more than 4 million years, alarming researchers and climate change campaigners alike.
Until recently, Antartica was the last place on Earth without a 400 parts per million carbon dioxide reading. While the reading 400 does not hold any special significance, scientists have identified it as a threshold symbol for more and more people in the world is convinced of the dire need to halt and control the swelling carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
In a recent announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Antartic milestone was dated May 23. This, however, is not the worst milestone with regards to increasing carbon dioxide levels throughout the globe. Last year, for the first time in human history, the global annual mean concentration of CO2 had already exceeded the 400-ppm mark.
According to NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network lead scientist Pieter Tans, global carbon dioxide levels won't "return to values below 400 parts per million in our lifetimes, or even for much longer".
Carbon dioxide levels fluctuate throughout the year, with photosynthesis as one of the underlying factors. However, due to increasing man-made carbon dioxide emissions and depleting forests, plants are no longer sufficient and numerous enough to regulate the CO2 levels. Over the years since it was monitored in 1958, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to rise and the dips have become smaller and smaller.
To scientists behind the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, the more long-term solution to the problem of rising carbon dioxide levels would require sustained and substantial cuts of man-made emissions to near zero as projections show that the world will continue to have C02 concentrations above 400 ppm until 2150.
Source: Nature World News