According to sensors at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, a research outpost of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, our earthly habitat is in the real shits, not like since forever:
This is the first time in human history our planet's atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2.
Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago.
We don't know a planet like this. https://t.co/azVukskDWr
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) May 12, 2019
Background via TechCrunch this afternoon:
If the threshold seems unremarkable (it shouldn’t), it’s yet another indication of the unprecedented territory humanity is now charting as it blazes new trails toward environmental catastrophe.
Just last week a report revealed that at least 1 million species were at risk of extinction thanks to human activity and the carbon emissions that are a byproduct of economic development.
That’s on top of news that climate change, which has been inextricably linked to carbon emissions, will cost the U.S. alone some $500 billion per year by 2090.
Greenhouse gases contribute to the planet maintaining a temperature that can sustain life, but too much can impact the entire ecosystem that sustains us.
That’s what’s happening now.
As the NOAA notes, “increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth’s energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth’s average temperature.”
The properties of CO2 also mean that it adds to the greenhouse effect in a way that other emissions do not, thanks to its ability to absorb wavelengths of thermal energy that things like water vapor can’t.
That’s why increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance causing Earth’s temperature to rise, according to the NOAA.
And today, another warning on the climate (Yahoo News):
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres launched a brief South Pacific tour in New Zealand Sunday, warning the world was “not on track” to limiting global temperature rises.
“We are seeing everywhere a clear demonstration that we are not on track to achieve the objectives defined in the Paris agreement,” Guterres said on the failure to limit rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial revolution levels.
“And the paradox is, that as things are getting worse on the ground, political moves seem to be fading,” he added in the joint press conference in Auckland with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
We’re in for a ride…
(Illustration found here).