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By Anastasia Gubin
Pieter Tans, NOAA scientist who studies the greenhouse effect globally, expressed his regret as it is a problem with long-term effects on life on our planet. "Global CO2 levels will not return to below 400 ppm in our lifetimes, and almost certainly for much longer," Tans said.
Average daily carbon dioxide readings at the South Pole hit record levels as of 2014, as recorded by the greenhouse gas monitoring network. Also the annual growth rate appears to be accelerating.
CO2 is considered by the scientific community, by the International Climate Change Panel and by the NOAA team, as the main driver of greenhouse gas pollution. Its increase reveals a high consumption of fossil fuels by man. Last year, 30 Nobel laureates demanded immediate action from the governments of the world, however their words have not been translated into concrete results by the authorities.
The 400 ppm threshold had been exceeded in 2012 at the Arctic log sites, and in 2013, it was on the log at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In March 2015, the average monthly concentration of this greenhouse gas exceeded the 400 ppm barrier globally.
Record CO2 at the South Pole (NOAA)
With the new records in Antarctica, Pieter Tans' team predicts that "the world average in 2016 will almost certainly (also) exceed 400 ppm." The only doubt they expressed is "if the lowest (global) month for 2016 will also remain above 400".
CO2 levels cycle throughout the year. They increase during the fall and winter, and decrease in the summer, when land plants consume CO2 in the process of photosynthesis.
"But the plants capture only a fraction of the annual CO2 emissions, so for each year since the observations began that began in 1958, there have been no decreases of CO2 in the atmosphere in relation to the previous year", reveals the NOAA team.
The growth rate is also worrisome at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, where it jumped to 5.3 ppm during 2015. "This is the largest year-over-year increase in 56 years of monitoring," added the scientists.
The warming of the Pacific Ocean at the equatorial level, known as the El Niño phenomenon, also produced extreme weather conditions around the world, causing terrestrial ecosystems to lose more CO2 through droughts and more intense heat waves, as well as through increased number of forest fires.
Despite all the measures that man can do to avoid worse prognoses, the scientist Pieter Tans lamented that "CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years."
This will happen with all its effects of global warming, such as the loss of species and a significant rise in sea level in the coming years.
"We know from the abundant solid evidence that the increase in CO2 is entirely caused by human activities," said Tans,
Record CO2 in the upper part of the atmosphere
In May 2016, scientists from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) published that the record of 400 ppm was broken in the upper atmosphere in December 2015 (400.2 ppm), for the first time in their records, and that it continued to rise in January 2016 (401.1 ppm).
With the GOSAT Project, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, the National Institute for Environmental Studies, and JAXA have been tracking monthly CO2 concentrations in the upper atmosphere.
Record CO2 recorded by the Japanese GOSAT Project that measures CO even at 70 kilometers high. (JAXA)
“It is the first time that the average atmospheric CO2 exceeds 400 ppm when monitored by GOSAT, which can observe CO2 concentrations from the surface to the upper part of the atmosphere (about 70 kilometers). That means that increasing concentrations of CO2 are not only on the global surface, but also in the global atmosphere, ”the Japanese team noted.
The Epoch Times