2014 was the warmest on record, so it’s not surprising that carbon levels in the atmosphere are also at their peak.
For the first time, we started the year over 400 parts per million (ppm). Last year, we crossed that threshold for three months – March, April and June. 2013 was the first year we hit that milestone – for one day in May.
Clearly, the trend isn’t good.
"The world’s plants can only pull so much CO2 out of the atmosphere in a given season, while human emissions keep rising. This is leaving an excess of about 2 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere every year, meaning the 400 ppm mark will keep occurring earlier and earlier. In just a year or two, carbon dioxide levels will likely be about 400 ppm year-round," notes Climate Central.
When carbon was at these levels previously in history – at least 800,000 years ago – polar ice melted and flooded the oceans, raising sea levels up to 130 feet higher than today’s levels.
Right now, the ocean is absorbing much of the emissions, turning it acid and depriving marine life of oxygen, and volcanoes are also cooling the earth a bit, keeping temperatures lower than they would otherwise be.
The latest research shows that agricultural emissions are now higher than that caused by deforestation. While emissions from deforestation are declining, they are rising in agriculture, particularly from meat and dairy operations.
Nothing to be concerned about:
And this is during a time when climate deniers hold us hostage. The new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe (R-OK) recently said global temperatures haven’t risen for the past 15 years.
"I’m not a scientist" Marco Rubio (R-FL) will Chair the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard and Ted Cruz (R-TX) heads the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness.
How about changing the talking points based on the data?
Learn more about how volcanoes are moderating our climate: