Earth's CO2 Permanently Crosses 400ppm Threshold

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 00:36

The CO2 levels in Earth's atmosphere crossed the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold this September - possibly forever.

According to Engadget, since the industrial revolution, the CO2 levels have been steadily rising and last time the Earth saw consistent levels this high was three to five million years ago. Although El Niño's warming effect is mostly responsible for the current highs but human emissions have risen rapidly by 25% since the last El Niño in 1997 and 1998.

As Ralph Keeling, who monitors C02 levels at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography, explained "it already seems safe to conclude that we won't be seeing a monthly value below 400ppm this year -- or ever again for the indefinite future."

NASA's chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt also confirmed that in a best-case scenario, where humans stopped pumping CO2 into the atmosphere today, the levels wouldn't start to drop for at least a decade or more. "In my opinion," Schmidt wrote, "we won't ever see a month below 400ppm."


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