Average Global Atmospheric Carbon Levels Hit New Record High in 2015
The Washington Post (5/7) reported that average global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in March 2015. The report cited data released by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Huffington Post (5/15) quoted leading scientists who called the measurement a “significant milestone” for global warming. The last time concentrations reached this level was millions of years ago, before modern humans evolved.
National Public Radio (5/08) featured NOAA scientists saying that – more worrisome than the number itself – is the speed with which atmospheric concentrations have increased, rising from about 280 ppm to 400 ppm in 150 years.
The 400 ppm threshold was reached in some local areas in 2012 and 2013 but was never recorded globally before 2015, reported The Guardian (5/6).
In related news, U.S. space agency NASA (5/15) announced the last remaining section of Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf will likely disintegrate before the end of the decade. The Larsen B ice shelf, which has existed for 10,000 years, aroused broad public concern when it partially collapsed in 2002 (New York Times).