Indifferent to the coronavirus health crisis, the level of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere continues to increase until it reaches a record level, the highest in human history, or 419 parts per million (ppm).
The Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have just sounded the alarm again on the dangers of this concentration, which causes global warming.
“This is the highest level of CO2 since data logging began 63 years ago. And the economic slowdown due to the pandemic has had no noticeable impact on the level of emissions“, We say.
Although the rate of increase of 1.8 ppm during 2020 was slightly slower than in previous years, it remains within the range of natural variability.
“The temporary decline in global carbon emissions linked to the pandemic has been drowned out by natural variations that affect the rate at which carbon accumulates in the air”NOAA senior scientist Pieter Tans said in a statement to the Axios news site.
Tans, as well as Ralph Keeling, who, for his part, oversees observations of the Mauna Loa volcano, have both admitted not being surprised that the pandemic, which has caused global emissions to be reduced by around 7% in 2020, has failed to slow or curb the growth of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Likewise, they claimed that net carbon emissions had not declined significantly, and for long enough to be noticeable.
“As long as we continue to produce emissions, CO2 will continue to increase. And that’s what we’re seeing. Even if we manage to freeze net emissions ”, explained Tans, stressing the need to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible. CO2 has a long lifespan, with each molecule remaining in the air for up to 1,000 years. “In terms of human civilization, these emissions are eternal,” he continued, saying he was in favor of plans to reduce emissions to net zero as soon as possible.
For his part, Keeling told the publication that the 420 ppm, which the planet will almost certainly surpass next year, constitutes “A psychological threshold”, adding that “We are moving deeper and deeper into a territory that we would almost certainly never have wanted to reach“.
During the Pliocene, the global average sea level was nearly 25 meters higher, while the average global temperature was around 7 degrees Fahrenheit above the pre-industrial era. These data reflect a major threat to the future of humanity on Earth.
The world first crossed the 400 ppm threshold in 2013, and only took eight years to reach the 420 ppm mark, proving that countries are still failing to bend the emissions curve in a way. significant downward movement to slow, and ultimately reverse, global warming.
Many studies show that if carbon dioxide concentrations are stabilized, the chances of reversing climate change will be greater. Carbon dioxide is a long-lived greenhouse gas emitted by human activities such as combustion, deforestation and agriculture.