The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has hit a critical level from which there is no return and people alive today will feel the effects of global warming, warned a group of scientists.
For the first time in millions of years, daily and weekly levels of carbon dioxide have remained above 400 parts per million, Scripps scientist Ralph Keeling told USA Today.
“We won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year – or ever again for the indefinite future.”
Carbon dioxide is the gas most responsible for global warming, and the increasing levels in Earth’s atmosphere means the Paris agreement to fight climate change will be meaningless unless more is done.
Carbon dioxide just hit its annual minimum at Mauna Loa Observatory and failed to dip below 400 ppm https://t.co/m0ZoyzgcEf
— Climate Central (@ClimateCentral) September 28, 2016
Six leading climate change scientists and the Universal Ecological Fund released a report Thursday saying the world could warm up by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 1 degree Celsius, by 2050, author Sir Robert Watson told the SFGate.
“The pledges are not going to get even close. If you governments of the world are really serious, you’re going to have to do way, way more.”
That mark is important because above the level of 2 degrees Celsius the dangerous effects of climate change become even more pronounced. World leaders agreed to avoid global warming of more than 2 degrees in the Paris climate talks.
Droughts, floods, wildfires, famines, and superstorms are all on the rise thanks to climate change, and they’ll get worse if something isn’t done, chemist and former NASA scientist Sir Robert Watson told the Independent.
“As the number of weather-related events due to climate change continues to rise, their impact on water resources, food production, human health, services and infrastructure in urban and rural areas, among other sectors, will be more frequent and intense.”
2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark https://t.co/kZQJGY9aEK
— Scientific American (@sciam) September 28, 2016
The Paris agreement on climate change is a step in the right direction, but additional efforts by major carbon emitters like the United States and China is needed to prevent further warming.
There is still time to prevent the most disastrous effects of global warming, but drastic action is needed immediately if changes are to have the desired impact. Scientists are calling for a drastic change to the way the world produces energy, a switch to electric cars, and an end to deforestation.
The climate change study hasn’t undergone the peer review process, but it was vetted by six scientists recruited by the Associated Press including Stefan Rahmstorf from Germany’s Potsdam Institute, according to the SFGate.
“It is a good summary of what is common knowledge in the climate expert community but not widely appreciated by members of the public and even policy makers.”
Donald Trump is one of those would-be policy makers who doesn’t believe in global warming and has publicly called climate change a hoax, despite his denials of those claims during Monday’s presidential debate.
Reason #34940 to not have kids: https://t.co/vST1WQDV8l
— Heya! (@kelseyr713) September 29, 2016
Other climate change deniers include Sen. Jim Inhofe who brought a snowball onto the Senate floor, House Speaker Paul Ryan who said scientists don’t understand climate change, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who famously used the “I’m not a scientist” excuse.
Among vetted scientists, however, 97 percent agree mankind is responsible for the rising temperatures associated with climate change.
There is some debate among scientists about whether the Earth is worth saving or whether humanity should focus its efforts on escaping the planet, possibly to live on Mars or Venus.
That’s part of what makes Elon Musk’s plan to colonize Mars and make mankind a multiplanet species so exciting. The founder of SpaceX unveiled his plan to establish a human settlement on the red planet, numbering a million people, this week.
What do you think about the global warming benchmark the world passed this month?
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]