A United Nations agency says the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has shot up to its highest level in 800,000 years.
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This amount is highest in the last 800,000 years, according to Scripps Institute of Oceanography . Before the onset of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels fluctuated over the millennia, but never exceeded 300 parts per million
"We continue to burn fossil fuels and carbon dioxide builds up in the air," said Scripps scientist Ralph Keeling, the mainta This is the longest continuous record of atmospheric carbon dioxide on Earth. "It's that simple in principle."
Ralph Keeling and his late father Charles David Keeling have been measuring carbon dioxide (CO2) at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii since 1958.
The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 410.31 parts per million (ppm) for the month of April according to the Keeling Curve measurement series.
This is the first time in the history of the Mauna Loa dataset that a monthly average has exceeded 410 parts per million. It is also a 30% increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the global atmosphere since the Keeling curve began in 1958.
"What interests me most as a scientist is not that we have exceeded yet another rounding number. What this continued increase means, in fact, is that with an unprecedented experiment with our planet, the only house, that we have to move forward, "tweeted Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas for its ability to capture solar radiation and limit it to the atmosphere. It is the most widely used of all greenhouse gases produced by human activities and attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.
The rise of gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fuel climate change and make the planet "more dangerous" unbearable for future generations, "said the World Meteorological Organization.
Increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases reinforce the natural environment."
Before the Industrial Revolution, CO2 levels were at 280 ppm at the end of the 19th century when large quantities of greenhouse gases were released by burning fossil fuels.
The burning of oil, gas and coal producing energy releases greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, which have caused the Earth's temperature to rise over the past century to levels beyond natural variability.
Carbon dioxide is invisible, odorless and colorless, yet it is responsible for 63% of the warming of all greenhouse gases, according to the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado
Carbon dioxide levels go up and down each year, peaking in May, and then returning in the fall when plants absorb the gas.
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