The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere has reached its highest over the last 800 thousand years. This follows from the report of the world meteorological organization, a specialized intergovernmental Agency of the UN.
Conducted by experts from the research showed that by the end of 2016, the average CO2 concentration reached the level of 403,3 ppm (in each cubic meter of air 403,3 ml is a carbon dioxide), which is 45% higher than the concentration in the pre-industrial period (1750).
The WMO report notes that in 2016, the increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere set a new record, partly because of strong droughts in tropical regions for which a decreased ability of tropical forests to absorb carbon dioxide.
“The rate of growth of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over the past 70 years almost 100 times higher than the growth rate at the end of the last ice age. As far as we can judge according to the direct and indirect observations, such a sharp change of CO2 levels in the atmosphere have never been observed”, — the report of the WMO.
UN experts warn that the rapid growth of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to a global deterioration of climate on the planet.
“Without rapid cuts in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by the end of this century we can expect a dangerous rise in temperature, considerably exceeding the target set by the Paris agreement on climate change. Future generations will inherit a much more unfavorable for habitation of the planet,” said WMO Secretary-General petteri Taalas.
Particularly worrisome, he said, is that “magic wand” to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere humanity there, and its removal by natural means may take at least hundreds of years.
“The current levels of CO2 correspond to climate in the “equilibrium” state, last observed in the middle Pliocene (3-5 million years ago), the climate was 2-3°C warmer and in which the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, and had even lost part of the East Antarctic shield, which led to a rise in sea level by 10-20 m compared to the present”, — the report says the WMO.
The paper also stresses that by the end of 2016 of a new reached a maximum content in the atmosphere of methane. In addition, there is a growing concentration of nitrous oxide, contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer that protects the Earth from ultraviolet radiation.
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