The Mauna Loa Observatory recently revealed that CO2 emissions in Earth’s atmosphere have reached 415.79 parts per million (ppm). Unsurprisingly, the CO2 concentration always reaches higher levels every day. But the latest published figures show that CO2 emissions have reached an all-time record.
CO2 in the atmosphere always changes up and down throughout a year. Specifically, the amount of CO2 increases from autumn to spring, when plants decay and then gradually decrease in the summer when plants grow and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
This natural cycle has existed for millions of years and created a balance for the Earth’s atmosphere. Thanks to this cycle, people can exist in harmony with nature. But that is when humans have not yet started emitting CO2. Currently the equilibrium is still being maintained but it is showing signs of change in the direction of deterioration as CO2 emissions are increasing steadily through each year.
The monthly record of CO2 concentration usually appears around March or April, although last year it fell in February due to human burning of fossil fuels.
Scientists have long had the basis to assess the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere based on the ice core. And the largest record ever recorded was 800 thousand years ago, when humans started walking on Earth. At that time, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was just below 280ppm.
Things began to change rapidly in the industrial age as people began to burn more fossil fuels. Although the risks related to CO2 have been warned for a long time, the amount of CO2 emissions continues to increase year by year. As long as humans emit CO2, new milestones will continue to appear.
Just in May 2019, the average CO2 concentration in the atmosphere surpassed 415ppm for the first time. Back in 2015, the number never exceeded 400ppm.
The amount of CO2 stored in the atmosphere, creating a giant shield, preventing radiant heat from escaping from the Earth. This curtain accidentally “heats” the entire planet’s temperatures, leading to greenhouse effects and extreme weather events such as heat waves, wildfires, storms and floods. CO2 also worsens the air quality we breathe every day.
The researchers warn that mankind is gradually approaching the planet’s tolerance limits. Once things get out of control, global warming will disrupt the Earth’s climate system. More dangerous than the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets will raise the sea level to more than 3m, threatening the survival of coastal lands.
And when extreme weather events such as forest fires, droughts, floods will occur more often. As a result, forest fires have increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and exacerbated the climate crisis. All of these factors combined with the increasing amount of human CO2 emissions will directly destroy life on Earth.
Is there a change in time? The answer is never too late if all countries promptly shift to a green economy, towards reducing dependence and eliminating fossil fuels, the leading cause of CO2 emissions.
Refer to Gizmodo