Distressing 400ppm of CO2 recorded in the Arctic

Posted: 10/07/2012

CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is the main green house gas that causes global warming and it has recently been recorded by scientists at a record high of 400 parts per million across the Arctic. Carbon Dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years, some of it occurs naturally from rotting plans and decomposing animals but the main cause of CO2 is humans. The level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution was 275ppm and the figure of 350ppm, which was regarded as ‘safe’ was passed years ago and now the global figure is 395ppm.

For over 60 years the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has stayed in the low 300’s but fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil being burnt to create electricity has caused the bulk of the man made increase. The readings of 400ppm have been recorded across the Arctic at Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Mongolia and Norway. However, the levels are usually at their highest this time of the year, before the summer season kicks in and the plants inhale some of the CO2. This means that the yearly global CO2 level will be recorded slightly lower but scientists state that the 400ppm is a psychological milestone.

The global CO2 emissions caused from fossil fuels hit an all time high in 2011, where 34.8 billion tonnes were created and now that figure has increased by 3.2% according to the International Energy Agency. The International Energy Agency stated that they believed it is becoming more and more unlikely that the world will achieve the European goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees based on greenhouse gas and pollution levels.

Do you believe that the extreme weather conditions recently experienced are caused by the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels or do you think that humans are being blamed for something that occurs naturally as part of the Earth's life cycle?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments global warming, fossil fuels, Earth, Carbon Dioxide, CO2

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