The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Earth's Average CO2 Levels Cross 410 ppm for the First Month Ever
April was the first month in recorded history with an average concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide topping 410 parts per million (ppm).
This dubious new milestone was recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii by the Keeling Curve, a program of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.
To put this latest reading into perspective, at the beginning of the industrial revolution around 1880, the CO2 level stood at 280 ppm. It climbed to 315 ppm in 1958, the year Mauna Loa started record-keeping. It surpassed 400 ppm in 2013, before becoming a dangerous new norm for several years. Then around mid-April, the planet breached 410 ppm for the first time.
These CO2 levels, according to NOAA's climate department, haven't been seen on Earth in 3 million years, when temperatures were 3.6° to 5.4°F warmer, and sea level was 50 to 80 feet higher than today
"We keep burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide keeps building up in the air," said Scripps CO2 Program director Ralph Keeling, the son of the late Keeling Curve creator Charles David Keeling, in a statement.
"It's essentially as simple as that," he added.
"We don't have a lot of headroom," he said.
"It's not going to be a sudden breakthrough, either," Keeling added. "We're just moving further and further into dangerous territory."
Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe tweeted, "As a scientist, what concerns me the most is what this continued rise actually means: that we are continuing full speed ahead with an unprecedented experiment with our planet, the only home we have."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A dire new report issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found that the climate crisis is on a worrying trajectory as the crisis's hallmarks — sea level rise, ice loss and extreme weather — all increased over the last five years, which will end as the warmest five-year period on record.
By Peter Gleick
War is a miserable thing. It kills and maims soldiers and civilians. It destroys infrastructure, cultures and communities. It worsens poverty and development challenges. And it damages and cripples vital ecological and environmental resources.
Hundreds of activists gathered in the Swiss Alps on Sunday to mourn the loss of Pizol, a glacier that has steadily retreated over the last decade as temperatures have warmed the mountain tops, according to CNN.
Vice President Mike Pence sparked outrage on social media Saturday when he traveled in the first-ever motorcade to drive down the streets of Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island, HuffPost reported.
By Shawn Radcliffe
- As illnesses and deaths linked to vaping continue to rise, health officials urge people to stop using e-cigarettes.
- Officials report 8 deaths have been linked to lung illnesses related to vaping.
- Vitamin E acetate is one compound officials are investigating as a potential cause for the outbreak.
By Julia Conley
As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world — making it the biggest climate protest ever — they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.