A report done by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in collaboration with the US weather agency indicates that the global average of carbon dioxide in a month has reached 400 parts per million in March. This level has never been recorded in almost 2 million years. Carbon dioxide makes up the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, Pieter Tans, said that it was a matter of time for the global average of carbon dioxide to reach 400 parts per million. 400 ppm was reported for the first time in the spring of 2012 at the Arctic sites. According to Tans this indicates that humans burning fossil fuels have led an increased global carbon dioxide concentration of more than 120 parts per million ever since the industrial revolution. Moreover, half of this rise occurred starting with 1980. Tans remarked:
“It’s both disturbing and daunting. Daunting from the standpoint on how hard it is to slow this down.”
On March 13 The International Energy Agency reported that the increase of global emission coming from fossil fuel burning stagnated in 2014 at the same level of 2013. However it is not enough to prevent climate changes, especially when according to NOAA data from 2012 to 2014 the average growth rate of the concentration of carbon dioxide was2.25 ppm per year, which is the highest ever recorded growth rate over three successive years.
The measurements on the global average change along with the seasons. For example the level of carbon dioxide is higher in May, whereas for the rest of the year it decreases since plants use CO2. The concentration level also differs depending on the various places on the globe. For instance, in the Northern hemisphere the amount of CO2 is higher than the one in the Southern hemisphere. This is owing to the smaller land mass which leads to a less clear natural carbon cycle in plant grown and decay. But irrespective of this the levels are growing on a year-to-year basis.
The director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, James Butler, said that it is hard to reverse the growth in greenhouse gases. The rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be stopped if 80% of the fossil fuel emissions would be eliminated. However the concentrations of carbon dioxide would not decrease unless further reductions are made. And even so the process would be extremely slow.
Image Source: Pixshark