The Earth just garnered a new record, but it’s not the kind that we should be proud of, as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions eclipsed the 415 parts per million mark for the first time in recorded history.
This according to sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory, which is an outpost of the US’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), located in Hawaii. More specifically researchers there picked up carbon emissions of 415.26 parts per million taken on 11th May this past weekend.
While this news might seem quite dire, it’s certainly unsurprising as the Earth’s average temperature has continued to rise to record levels each year, despite climate change deniers like US president Donald Trump. This even when the science clearly shows what pollution and a failure to reduce carbon emissions is doing to the planet.
If that weren’t enough, as TechCrunch notes, a recent report said that nearly one million species of animal were at risk of extinction thanks to carbon emissions and increased human activity in their natural habitats.
As for why these increased carbon emissions are so significant to the wellbeing of the planet, researchers at NOAA explain that the CO2 will impact the heat absorbing properties of the Earth. They essentially equate it to leaving bricks in a fireplace which still radiate heat once the fire has been put out.
“Increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth’s energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth’s average temperature,” said an NOAA spokesperson.
As for what kind of course correction can be done at this stage, and whether countries across the globe are planning to reduce their emissions drastically, is anyone’s guess at this point.
[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]