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Earth’s Carbon Dioxide Level Breaks Dangerous Records In Human History

First Posted: May 01, 2017 06:09 AM EDT

Earth broke an alarming record and reached a dangerous climate change milestone, when Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory recorded carbon dioxide (CO2) levels at 410 parts per million (ppm) on April 18. CO2 levels have not reached this high in millions of years. In fact, such a level was recorded for the first time in human history.

According Skymet Weather, ever since the Mauna Loa Observatory began recording, it has been seen that CO2 levels have been at a record high. In 1958, the levels were recorded at 280 ppm. In 2013, the levels surpassed 400 ppm. After 2013, the 400 ppm level has become a norm and scientists were hardly surprised at the new record level -- as they had previously warned the public about the new milestone. Going by the current scenario, humans are on the track to create a climate unseen in 50 million years by mid-century.

“It is pretty depressing that it is only a couple of years since the 400 ppm milestone was toppled,” paleoclimate researcher Gavin Foster told Climate Central last month. “These milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record.”

What exactly does the record-breaking high mean for the planet? According to Wall Street Pit, CO2 is the primary contributor to climate change. Humans can save Earth from further degradation and climate change’s fast-approaching apocalyptic effects only by decreasing carbon footprint.

While natural factors like El Niño have driven more CO2 into the atmosphere over the past two years, the new records are mostly caused due to the tremendous amounts of fossil fuels continuously being burnt by humans. This has created alarming amounts of carbon dioxide. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans, atmospheric carbon dioxide will level off initially only when emissions are cut in half.

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