Record levels of CO2 in atmosphere
The observatory of the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, reported extraordinary levels of CO2 last week. This year represents the largest annual increase ever recorded since measurements began 56 years ago.
Even worse, according to NOAA’s Pieter Tans, 2015 was the fourth consecutive year to have an increase greater than 2 ppm (parts per million), “The CO2 levels are growing faster than they have done for hundreds of thousands of years. This is an explosive process compared to the natural process.”
In February 2016, average atmospheric CO2 levels were around 403 ppm, whereas before 1800, these levels were around 280 ppm.
According to NOAA, the current levels are also connected to the El Niño phenomenon, and therefore must not be over-interpreted. Still, the last time the Earth experienced a significant increase in CO2 levels, according to a scientific study, it was between 17,000 and 11,000BC, and this increase was only 80 ppm, less than 200 times the size of the current increase.