DISCUSSION: Carbon dioxide levels hit a global record high in 2016, according to a study published by the World Meteorological Organization in the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Concentrations of the greenhouse gas reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, resulting in an increase from 400.0 ppm the prior year. Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, carbon dioxide concentrations have risen 145%. The study notes that “the last time concentrations were this high was at least 3 million years ago.”
It was concluded that the concentration of carbon dioxide was so high because of a combination of human activity and a particularly strong El Niño event. Although carbon dioxide emissions did slow in 2016, the El Niño event made droughts more intense and restricted vegetation from absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Temperatures will continue to climb by the end of the century without rapids cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
The study can be found here.
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©2017 Meteorologist Nicholas Quaglieri