Lewis Diuguid

CO2 levels from fossil fuel consumption on Earth hit critically high level

Steam and smoke rise from a coal power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Scientists are more confident than ever that pumping carbon dioxide into the air by burning fossil fuels is warming the planet. CO
2
 levels have hit a distressing high for the entire planet.
Steam and smoke rise from a coal power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Scientists are more confident than ever that pumping carbon dioxide into the air by burning fossil fuels is warming the planet. CO 2 levels have hit a distressing high for the entire planet. The Associated Press

Climate change believers have more ammunition to further their argument for action against the planetary threat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that in March the global monthly average for carbon dioxide reached 400.83 parts per million making it the first month in modern records that the Earth topped 400 parts per million. That recording surpassed levels that hadn’t been present in about 2 million years.

It’s an indication that the CO2 buildup is occurring at a faster rate, The Associated Press reports. Carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas is generated from human consumption of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. It is 18 percent higher than it was in 1980 when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration first calculated a worldwide average.

The first time CO2 levels passed the 400 parts per million mark was for a few weeks in the Arctic in 2012. The jump in CO2 is a concern because of the greenhouse effect that the gas creates for the planet.

Polar ice continues to melt, causing sea levels to rise, threatening coastal areas. The increased moisture in the air also is causing weather patterns to change.

Droughts like the one in California are more severe, and storms are more violent. The effects of global warming cause the costs of living, transportation and doing business to continue to rise.

Slowing human consumption of fossil fuels has to become a priority worldwide to arrest the growing and traumatic effects of climate change. That may mean shutting down many coal-fired power plants, having more solar and wind electricity systems, accelerating conservation and mass transit efforts, reducing the number of vehicles on roads worldwide and severely restricting air travel.

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