There is 50 percent more carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere than in the pre-industrial period. This is evident in the new report of the United States National Maritime and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Throughout human existence, until the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, CO levels were steady at 280 ppm.
The level of CO₂ measured at the Mauna Loa laboratory in Hawaii peaked at 421 parts per million (ppm) in May.
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrod said in a statement, “Humans are changing our climate to suit our economy and infrastructure.
NOAA’s laboratory is a global reference point for monitoring atmospheric CO₂. It is located at an altitude of about 3400 meters above sea level. It is not disturbed by local pollution or the influence of plants.
Not seen in millions of years
Carbon dioxide levels are higher than the May 2021 (419 ppm) and May 2020 (417 ppm) levels.
The NOAA says the amount of carbon dioxide in the air in May has reached a point not seen since the Earth was 7 degrees warmer 4 million years ago. Today’s Arctic areas were forested when sea level was 5-25 meters higher than it is today.
– The relentless increase in carbon dioxide measured by Mauna Loa is a strong reminder that we need to take urgent, drastic action to become a climate-friendly country, says Spinrod.
It’s about the seasons. In summer, plants and trees absorb CO₂ from the air, reducing CO2 levels. In winter, the plants die, CO₂ is released and the map goes up. Due to the abundance of vegetation and trees in the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons here control the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere.
The greenhouse effect makes the soil more livable, but more greenhouse gases such as CO₂ enhance this effect and warm the soil. The map begins with 1960, the year the world began to measure CO₂ systematically. It happened in Mauna Loa, Hawaii and the curve shows measurements from there. Before the world was industrialized, the atmosphere had about 280 ppm CO₂ (year 1700). Researchers have discovered this by studying ice core specimens.
No, not immediately. If emissions are reduced, the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere will slowly increase. The emission reduction must be large and last for a long time before we see an effect.
Atmosphere Imagine that a bathtub and greenhouse gases are water that fills you, and even if you turn off the tap, the water in the bathtub will not be empty. It is similar to greenhouse gases and CO₂. It takes a long time for CO₂ to break down in the atmosphere. This is why experts prefer technology that absorbs greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reduces emissions.
World politicians have decided to try to reduce global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures. According to the UN Climate Group, the level of CO₂ in the atmosphere should be kept below 430 ppm.
Continually breaking records
– When emissions are high, we expect it to reflect in the atmosphere, says Glenn Peters. He is the head of research at Cicero, a climate research center in Oslo.
He was not surprised by the NOAA report.
– It happens every year, with new records. Peters says we will break new records next year.
As emissions have fallen by 3.2 percent since 2019, even the 2020 epidemic led to a reduction in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. According to the head of research, a significant drop in emissions will be required.
If we balance the current emissions so that they do not rise, according to Peters, it will take ten years for you to see any change.
– The level will continue to rise, but at a slower pace.
If we had the same emissions as the Corona year 2020, the time would have been reduced to five years.
– When we see a change in that course, it depends on how quickly we reduce our emissions, says Peters.
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