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Real-Time Carbon Clock Shows Climate Change 'Danger Zone' Is Imminent
Bloomberg's Carbon Clock serves as an ominous reminder that carbon levels are rising rapidly. The clock tracks the monthly average levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The current number is slightly above 400 parts per million (ppm).
"Carbon dioxide pollution is the primary reason the Earth is warming," Bloomberg explained. "The number you see here estimates the level of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere right now, based on monthly averages."
Scientists estimate pre-industrial CO2 levels hovered around 280 ppm. When scientists first measured CO2 levels in 1959, they were at 316 ppm. The "danger zone," according to Bloomberg, is 450 ppm, which we may reach in just a few decades. The climate group 350.org proposes rapidly reducing CO2 levels to below 350 ppm this century to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
And don't be fooled by carbon's seasonal cycle, Bloomberg cautioned. CO2 levels fall each spring and autumn when vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere absorbs carbon from the air, but the overall trend is still upward.
The World Meteorological Organization reported in November 2015 that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations hit yet another new record in 2014, “continuing a relentless rise which is fueling climate change and will make the planet more dangerous and inhospitable for future generations.” At the same time, the UK’s Met Office reported that 2015 marked the first time global mean temperature at the Earth’s surface was set to reach 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
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The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.
Formosa Plant May Still Be Releasing Plastic Pollution in Texas After $50M Settlement, Activists Find
On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.
After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.
Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It Won’t Be 'the Rubbish Dump of the World'
The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.