CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere reached a record high last year. This increase was 50% higher than the average of the last ten years, and CO2 levels have not been this high in 800,000 years.
Human activities and the El Niño weather phenomenon are big contributing factors to the increase.
— Bo Norrman (@Innovabo) October 30, 2017
“It is the largest increase we have ever seen in the 30 years we have had this network,” Dr Oksana Tarasova, chief of WMO‘s global atmosphere watch program said. “The largest increase was in the previous El Niño, in 1997-1998, and it was 2.7ppm; and now it is 3.3ppm. It is also 50% higher than the average of the last 10 years.”
Although human sources have slowed down recently, the cumulative total in the atmosphere is the real issue, as CO2 stays high up and active for centuries.
This increase in atmospheric levels of CO2 will certainly affect our climate system. This is a great concern for many experts in the field of atmospheric research.
“It is urgent that we follow the Paris Agreement and switch rapidly away from fossil fuels,” says Prof. Euan Nisbet from Royal Holloway University of London. “There are signs this is beginning to happen, but so far the air is not yet recording the change.”
These results come just a week before the next installment of U.N. climate talks. Hopefully, this drastic increase in CO2 levels will be discussed and debated.