Climate Change Milestone Reached; CO2 Level In Atmosphere Will Stay For Generations

In 2015, the highest level of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere has been recorded reaching 400 parts per million (ppm), according to the World Meteorological Organization. Now, a new threshold has been crossed marking 2016 as the first full year to surpass this worsening climate change.

El Nino Event Significant In CO2 Level Increase In The Atmosphere

The 2014-2015 carbon dioxide rise was partially attributed to the strong El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific. That phenomenon has persisted until this year where increased in temperature has been felt across the globe.

The drought caused by the event left large areas of vegetation in tropical regions unable to absorb CO2 effectively, reported BBC. The dry conditions also started fires contributing to the carbon emissions.

The world's longest established atmosphere monitoring station situated at Mauna Lona, Hawaii anticipate that CO2 concentration in our atmosphere will remain above the 400 ppm number for the whole year and will further increase. The last time that level of CO2 was present above us was three to five million years ago.

This 400 ppm means that for every one million molecules in the atmosphere 400 of those is carbon dioxide. The report doesn't just point out continuous rising of CO2 but other greenhouse gasses as well including methane and nitrous oxide, said The Guardian.

Paris Agreement Should Be Fast-Track, Said Expert

Experts warn of the consequences that this new CO2 threshold brings and said that it would take generations before it would go down again. That is, of course, initiatives would be carried out and maintained in the coming years.

One such initiative, called the Paris Agreement, has been recently agreed by 200 countries. In November, the nations involved in the agreement will meet again in Morocco to discuss the next phase of the initiative.

"It is therefore of the utmost importance that the that the Paris agreement does indeed enter into force well ahead of schedule on 4 November and that we fast-track its implementation," said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the WMO. While the El Nino phenomenon did cause a significant spike to the rising of CO2 levels, the major cause of the increase is blamed at the industry and agriculture which contributed 37 percent to the warming effect on the planet between 1990 and 2015.

Levels of CO2 in the pre-industrial era only stood at 278 ppm, a number which the WMO said represented a natural balance on Earth. "Without tackling CO2 emissions, we cannot tackle climate change and keep temperature increases to below 2 degrees C above the pre-industrial era," said Taalas.


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