As dramatic as it may seem, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit the highest in the history of a million years just one day after President Trump decided to step back from the Paris Climate Accord. It has peaked peaked at 409.65 parts per million for the year, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Although this is no surprise, as carbon dioxide levels rise in Hawaii rise every year in the month of May. But the level it has reached this time is quite alarming, according to scientists.
Although plants on the northern hemisphere will inhale a few parts of the excess carbon dioxide from the air, but that is very little compared to the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide humans are adding to the air every day. Mauna Loa Observatory crossed the 410 ppm threshold for the first time in recorded history in April. The May average is almost exactly what UK Met Office scientists predicted it would be in their first carbon dioxide forecast.
This May’s reading crossed the last one’s 407.7 ppm by a leap and it certainly exceeded the 317.5 ppm record from May, 1958 when the very first measurement was made. Whereas before the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels were roughly about 280 ppm.
This sudden rise in carbon dioxide levels is causing the arctic ice to melt and sea levels to rise at such a rate that there are floods in even what used to be the dry season. The Earth has warmed about 18 degrees F above pre-industrial levels, and the situation is getting worse every day.
The limit of pollution that humans can emit before we cross the world’s main climate goal of 2 degrees Celsius. If it goes on like this, we’ll create an atmosphere this planet has not seen in 50 million years. When the Earth was 18 degrees F warmer and the Arctic was like a tropical forest.
With the US pulling out from the Paris Agreement, it is going to be even harder for the other nations to to meet the 2 degree goal.