Scientists Sound Alarm as Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches Levels Not Seen in 3 Million Years - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Scientists Sound Alarm as Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches Levels Not Seen in 3 Million Years

"We're racing toward a state very different from the kind humans evolved in and that civilization developed in," according to one geochemist

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Scientists Sound Alarm as Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches Levels Not Seen in 3 Million Years
    Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images, File
    This Sept. 11, 2008, file photo shows coal smoke and steam vapor pour out of the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant overlooking the Ohio River in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.

    This weekend, Earth's atmosphere had a concentration of carbon dioxide last seen more than 3 million years ago, before humans had evolved, NBC News reported.

    The greenhouse gas was detected at 415 parts per million by sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii on Saturday. The level has been steadily rising over the past decade and doesn't appear set to stop.

    "We're racing toward a state very different from the kind humans evolved in and that civilization developed in," said geochemist Ralph Keeling, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

    When Earth last saw atmospheric carbon dioxide at these levels, in the Pliocene Epoch, average sea levels were about 50 feet higher than they are today, according to Stanford earth system science professor Rob Jackson.

    Climate Change is Causing Billion-Dollar Disasters in US

    [NATL-DC] Climate Change is Causing Billion-Dollar Disasters in US

    In the last five years, the rate of billion dollar disasters per year has doubled since 1980. This is caused in part by our warming atmosphere and oceans supercharging storms. Storm Team4's Amelia Draper explains.

    (Published Friday, April 26, 2019)