That was the response of meteorologist Eric Holthaus
to the news that the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has reached a level that is no longer visible in all of human existence – not in history, in existence
] According to the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is over 415 ppm (parts per million), much higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years prior to Homo sapiens development.
Holthaus discovered the new high on Sunday when it was tweeted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which measures the daily CO2 rates in Mauna Loa along with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Since the program began in 1
958 by the late Charles David Keeling, measurements have been carried out for which the Keeling curve, a diagram for increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, was named.
"This is the first time in human history that the atmosphere of our planet contains more than 415 ppm of CO2," Holthaus said in a widely-used tweet. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = DE Not only in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art…7805 & lang = DE Modern man already existed millions of years ago of years, "added Holthaus.
During the Pliocene epoch about 3 million years ago, when global temperatures were estimated to be 2-3 degrees Celsius warmer than today, it was assumed that the CO2 level increased somewhere between 310 and 400 ppm.
At that time, the Arctic was covered in trees, not ice, and it is believed that the summer temperatures in the far north were around 15 ° C. During the Pliocene, global sea level was 25 meters higher than today, if not higher.
High levels of CO2 in the atmosphere – caused by human burning of fossil fuels and deforestation of forests – prevent the Earth's natural cooling circuit from functioning, capturing heat near the surface, and capturing the heat global temperatures rise and rise with devastating consequences.
The release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has already led to a 1 ° C increase in global temperatures, and we are likely to be fettered further if world governments fail to take immediate action.
According to 70 climate studies audited by experts, in a 2-degree warmer world, there will be 25% more hot days and heat waves – resulting in significant health risks and forest fire risks.
Around the world, 37% of the population will face at least one major heat wave every five years, and the average duration of drought will increase by four months, leaving 388 million people water shortages and 194.5 million people facing severe water scarcity ,
Floods and extreme weather like hurricanes and typhoons will increase, forest fires will become more frequent and crop yields will decline. Animal life will be devastated, and about 1 million species are threatened with extinction. However, mosquitoes will thrive, meaning that another 27% of the world is at risk of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
That's all at 2 degrees, a goal that becomes more and more hopeful. As the temperature rises from 3 to 4 degrees, we enter a "greenhouse-earth" stage that could make many parts of the planet uninhabitable.
All this has been predicted for decades. We also know what needs to be done to stop it – a drastic reduction in carbon emissions, reforestation and carbon sinks, new technologies for carbon capture and other innovations, or, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change puts it, "Fast, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all areas of society. "
This can be done, and many are organizing to force their governments to act, but we have no time to dodge a world that we literally can not handle.