Frightening news from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography shows that our planet has pushed carbon levels above the feared 400 parts per million, for good. 

According to findings from the institute “it already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year—or ever again for the indefinite future.”. These findings were based on week to week observations in carbon levels at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory. At Mauna Loa scientists have been measuring carbon levels since way back in 1958.

This 400ppm finding is so alarming because scientists have been warning the general public for years about it’s consequences; If carbon levels are allowed to surpass 400ppm it marks a serious “tipping point” for some dire climate situations. The first example of these ramifications was the massive reduction in the polar ice caps noted in 2012.

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Allegedly, we’re stuck at this level for good. And that’s a scary thought. Carbon levels traditionally reach there lowest around the end of September, and right now we’re hovering at 401ppm. Scientists note that it’s possible we haven’t seen this year’s lowest carbon levels, but it is believed to be “highly impossible”.

Obvious implications for the permanent effects of serious climate change include (but are not limited to) massive species extinctions, food chain issues, rising sea levels, and the acidification of oceans. The world wildlife funds estimates that nearly 10,000 species are going extinct every year, this number can only increase with massive eco system disruption.

The Paris Agreement is a convention dedicated to fighting the effects of climate change, it’s been ratified by 60 nations that account for roughly 50% of the world’s carbon emission. These nations are bound to prevent average global temperatures from rising above “pre-industrial levels” of 1.5 degrees celsius. Even with the agreement in place, our planet needs to find a way to control the remaning 50% of emissions.

Image: Rubén Moreno Montolíu