Not good news from the Earth’s atmosphere, the latest data show that the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere is unprecedented for thousands of years.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a series of data, relating to 2016, which shows a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The CO2 rose to 403.3 parts per million (ppm), compared to the previous measures (2015) that indicated it at 400 ppm.
Before the second industrial revolution (which conventionally began in 1870, with the large-scale use of electricity, oil and chemicals), the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was 280 ppm, as shown by cores in glaciers and poles.
The graph on the left shows the trend of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere over thousands of years: the highest value of the scale is 280 ppm. On the right the concentration from the middle of the last century to today: the lowest value of the scale is 310 ppm and rises up to over 400. It may seem low compared to 1 million air molecules, but the capacity of CO2 to retain heat is such that even such relative values are very significant.
THE EFFECT EL NIÑO. It may sound strange that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere grows despite real emissions slowdowns, from 2014 to 2016, mainly due to the global economic crisis and the slowdown of industrial activities (rather than targeted policies). unfortunately one of the consequences of El Niño: the so-called southern oscillation, that is the periodic climatic phenomenon known as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation), in its most recent manifestation (2015-16), has produced such drought that it has brought to its knees the forests of half the planet, compromising the absorption capacity of carbon dioxide of the plants, which is reduced compared to the past, and so the greenhouse gas has accumulated in the atmosphere.
RECORD ON RECORD. In presenting the report Oksana Tarasova, from the WMO, he underlined that in 2016 there has been the biggest “jump” in the increase of carbon dioxide for 30 years and that this has brought the values of concentration to a roof never reached for 800,000 years now.
“All this,” he commented, “will lead to an” injection “of heat, a great deal of heat as there has been no comparison for many thousands of years – at least 10,000. There is probably no awareness of what is happening: we have to expect very rapid climate change. “The final comment by Petteri Taalas, WMO general secretary:” No rapid and significant cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, very bitter. by the end of the century we will have very dangerous increases in temperature, well above the objectives of Paris and COP21.
Future generations will inherit a very inhospitable planet compared to what we know “.
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