According to a new report released by the United Nations, greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have hit a new high and there is no sign of it slowing down.
The report found that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) are almost 50% higher compared to the pre-industrial era which started around 1750. The rise of C02 on Earth and in the atmosphere is directly caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the increase is the reason for the current climate change crisis we are going through.
The team from the U.N. found that in 2017, C02 levels were measured at 405.5 parts per million (ppm), which directly compares to 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015.
In a statement from head of the Word Meteorological Organization (WMO), Peter Taalas said, “The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago when the temperature was 2-3°C warmer. Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth. The window of opportunity for action is almost closed.”
As well, the researchers found that the levels of methane are 2.5 times higher while levels of nitrous oxide are 20 percent higher. The later is responsible for destroying the ozone layer that protects Earth while methane is responsible for 17% of global warming.
To meet the standards set by the Paris Climate Accords, in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that net CO2 emissions need to be at net zero which is the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere must equal the amount removed from the atmosphere through natural processes or with tech. Obviously, that is currently not being met which is a huge concern to the future of this planet.
The best way for you to do your part in protecting the planet is by choosing products that will reduce carbon emissions, vote the right people into office and ensure those who have been voted in do follow through with setting climate change as a top priority.