Science

Carbon Dioxide Has Reached New Levels

By Rodney Rafols , Oct 06, 2016 03:25 AM EDT
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Air pollution and its effects continue to escalate. As we become more modern, there are also corresponding effects that these bring to the Earth. One of the effects that we are experiencing now is that carbon dioxide has reached new high levels.

Carbon dioxide levels are now at a point that has not been seen since the last Ice Age, according to Science Daily. This level is not at 400 ppm and might not see a decrease anytime soon. Normally, carbon dioxide rises slightly during the Winter months and then falls back during Summer. This is due to plants being active around this time.

Now though NOAA scientists have said that carbon dioxide levels have risen. This is true even in the South Pole, and they say that is not normal. For many people, this might be troubling as it would mean there would be more times that would be warmer.

Carbon dioxide has risen 100 times faster than it previously did, as Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network said. With the continued use of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere won't likely to go down soon.

"It's unlikely we'll ever see carbon dioxide below 400 ppm during our lifetime and probably much longer," Tans said about the rise in carbon dioxide levels. But while that might be alarming, there are those who also caution about being too much of an alarmist.

Ralph Keeling is a Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a director of the Scripps Carbon Dioxide program. His father is Charles David Keeling, who as The New York Times notes began measuring carbon dioxide on Mount Loa and other locations in the late 1950s. According to Keeling 400 ppm could be called a good yardstick, but to say that it is the tipping point would be incorrect.

Gavin Schmidt is the head of a NASA climate research unit in New York and he shares that sentiment. He says on an email response that 400 ppm is a milestone, but it's not an evidence of a tipping point. Professor Keeling has said that the first step that should be done is to stop the carbon dioxide increase.

Climate change has other effects as well, such as reports that the Arctic Sea might disappear soon.

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