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Highest CO2 concentration since the beginning of humanity

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The Mauna Lao Observatory in Hawaii
WikiCommons

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has gone up to a new record of more than 415 ppm (particles per million), the highest concentration since the emergence of modern man around 200,000 years ago. The new figures come from the Mauna Loa Observatory, the remote station on a volcano in Hawaii that has been measuring CO2 concentration in the atmosphere since the late 1950s. The station measured 415.39 ppm on Saturday, an absolute record in the existence of humanity, reported the IPS press agency.

It has been more than 3 million years ago since there were such high concentrations in the atmosphere. At that time there was no question of modern man, the average temperature in the North Pole was 15 degrees Celsius and the sea level was no less than 25 meters higher.

“This is the first time in human history that the Earth has experienced more than 415 ppm of CO2,” said Eric Holthouse, prominent meteorologist of the American University of Minnesota in a tweet. “Not just in our written history, not just since the emergence of agriculture ten thousand years ago. But millions of years ago, before the emergence of modern humans. We have no experience with a planet as it is today,” reported VRT NWS.

Instead of stabilizing, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep rising faster and faster. Ralph Keeling, the director of the Scripps CO2 Program, which carries out the measurements in Hawaii, expects that trend to continue in 2019. “The average growth remains high,” he told IPS. “Compared to last year, growth is likely to be around 3 ppm, more than the average 2.5 ppm of growth,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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