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Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Reach 400 Parts Per Million

Monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere throughout the northern hemisphere have reached 400 parts per million in April, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Based on the new reported record carbon dioxide concentrations of W.M.O.’s Global Atmosphere Watch, for the first time, carbon dioxide concentrations have reached 400 ppm. This figure was recorded during the seasonal maximum, which occurs early in the northern hemisphere spring before vegetation growth absorbs carbon dioxide.

According to W.M.O., this threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance and reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases that is warming the planet.

With the spring maximum values in the northern hemisphere already at the 400 ppm level, it is expected that the global annual average carbon dioxide concentration is set to surpass this threshold in 2015 or 2016.

Related Article: Environmentalists And Nuclear: Not Such Strange Bedfellows

“This should serve as yet another wakeup call about the constantly rising levels of greenhouse gases which are driving climate change,” said W.M.O. Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

“If we are to preserve our planet for future generations, we need urgent action to curb new emissions of these heat trapping gases. Time is running out,” Mr. Jarraud warned.

Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, with its lifespan in the oceans even longer. As the single most important GHG emitted by human activities, it was responsible for 85 percent of the increase in radiative forcing, the warming effect of our climate, over the period of 2002 to 2012.

By EcoSeed Staff


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