Carbon dioxide levels are now 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era
The level of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere is now more than 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era, further pushing the planet into conditions not experienced for millions of years, well before the emergence of humans, US government data shows.
The latest measurements show the relentless upward march of CO2follows scientists’ new warning that the world may still barrel into disastrous climate change even if planet-heating emissions are drastically cut, which governments are still failing to achieve.
“It’s depressing that we’ve lacked the collective willpower to slow the relentless rise in CO2,” said Ralph Keeling, a geochemist who runs CO2measurements for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Hawaii. “Fossil-fuel use may no longer be accelerating, but we are still racing at top speed towards a global catastrophe.”
In May, the Mauna Loa Observatory, perched high on the slopes of a volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, measured a CO2 concentration of 421 parts per million, just the latest escalation in an inexorable rise in CO2 due to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.