This article was reported back in 2014, but never published. Today, the CO2 emissions have even got worse. Some information has recently been updated.
The greenhouse gases have done it, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere has now reached up to 400 parts per million (ppm). In human history the last time CO2 was this high was several millions of years ago when the Arctic had no ice, the Savannah spread to the Sahara Desert, and the sea level was 40 meters higher than today. In June of 2018, the level of carbon dioxide in the air has been the highest in 800,000 years which scientists predict will have deadly consequences.
The drastic climate change will have major negative effects on civilization unless CO2 from burning of gas, oil, and coal is severely cut short. And despite warnings from scientists and the economic recession, the global emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise.
Professor Ralph Keeling who studies measurements on the Hawaiian Volcano at Mauna Loa Observatory said, “It’s like turning 50, it’s a wake up to what has been building up in front of us all along.”
Measuring the level of CO2 was originally begun by Keeling’s father, Dave Keeling in March of 1958, who named the study, Keeling curve.
The two CO2 monitoring stations on the Hawaiian Volcano at Mauna Loa are run by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. They measure the amount of CO2 by studying the decaying vegetation or fossil air trapped in ancient ice. Researchers make measurements each May where the CO2 level is at its highest and this Friday the daily average passed 400ppm. This Keeling curve hasn’t been seen since the Pliocene era, some 3 to 5 million years ago when coral reefs suffered extinction and when forests grew to the Arctic Ocean, which remains as a tundra today.
A colleague of Keeling’s at Scripps, Richard Norris explained the planet won’t adjust to the rise in CO2 for another hundreds of years with which by then major ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland would melt causing sea level to rise over major cities.
However, some climate changes have already been noticed as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere rises to 75 times faster than pre-industrial time. Such as massive heat waves, flooding, high levels of jet stream wind in Europe, monstrous hurricanes, and rapid melting sea ice in the Arctic.
Bob Ward, Policy Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics said, “We are creating a prehistoric climate in which human societies will face huge and potentially catastrophic risks,” adding, “Only by urgently reducing global emissions will we be able to avoid the full consequences of turning back the climate clock by 3 million years.”
Since the climate has already rose from 1 degree Celsius to 2 degrees Celsius, the world’s governments have been working together to maintain the rise of global average temperature. Such a rise as this would immediate an unstoppable catastrophic warming, but the International Energy Agency warned in 2012 that the Earth would possibly see the temperature go to 6 degrees Celsius, which to scientists warn would lead to chaos. There is a deadline in the United Nations to curb global emissions by 2015.
“This isn’t just a symbolic milestone, it’s yet another piece of clear scientific evidence of the effect human activity is having on our planet. I’ve made clear I will not let up on efforts to secure the legally binding deal the world needs by 2015 to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” said Edward Davey, the UK’s energy and climate change secretary.
Tim Lueker, a carbon cycle scientist at Scripps said, “The 400ppm threshold is a sobering milestone and should serve as a wakeup call for all of us to support clean energy technology and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, before it’s too late for our children and grandchildren.”
The fact that Trump and his administration won’t even admit that there is major devastating climate change and pulled out of the Paris Agreement is like pressing a massive gun to Earth about to pull the trigger. This brings the human race toward the brink of extinction.
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