Concentrations of atmospheric
carbon dioxide (CO2) increased at "record-breaking" speed last year, according to the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin released Monday.
According to the
report, concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 parts per million the year prior. This acceleration was due to a strong El Niño event—which triggered droughts and reduced the capacity of forests, vegetation and the oceans to absorb CO2—as well as human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels.