Atmospheric CO2 Levels Reach Their Highest in Millions of Years: Mauna Loa Observatory

Talking about climate change has become so routine that we don’t find it alarming anymore. Whatever our attitude may be towards climate change, the situation is indeed terrifying. The latest numbers recorded by the Mauna Loa Observatory show that the CO2 levels are sky-high, in fact, the highest we have ever seen.

As per the measurements of the observatory in Hawaii, the CO2 levels have crossed 410 parts per million, which is the highest it has ever gone in millions of years. To bring some context, the carbon dioxide levels when the observatory started recording in 1958 were at 280 parts per million.

The CO2 ppm had crossed the 400 mark back in 2013 and these high numbers have become a norm since then.

During the beginning of 2017, Met Office scientists in the UK had forecasted the carbon dioxide levels for the first time. According to that forecast, the CO2 levels were said to reach 410 ppm by April, which has now turned out to be true.

It is the time to realize that the damage has already been done and it can’t be undone even if we cut our carbon emissions henceforth. If the steps still aren’t taken for improving the situation, then we would soon witness a climate that hasn’t been witnessed in 50 million years. And that soon would be by mid-century.

Gavin Foster, a paleoclimate researcher with the University of Southampton, showing his serious concern over the high CO2 levels, said, “It’s pretty depressing that it’s only a couple of years since the 400 ppm milestone was toppled. 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.”

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