Downtown Los Angeles or Hong Kong, China, as an example, are likely the places where you turn your eyes or nose to the sky and you know full-well: fossil fuel emissions, abundant. Antarctica has now removed itself as the last station of planetary solitude to come in as nice and clean air. With carbon dioxide levels of 400 parts per million, the vast and icy and once perhaps most sanitary vestige of terrestrial sanctity has now, for most likely the first time in 4 million years, passed a mile-marker sourced by that one natural resource of such commonality, most of us turn a blind eye: the burning of gasoline and other fossil fuels.
It is in fact that Antarctica, being the southernmost region and farthest south continent upon the planet, which had not yet reached this mark of 400ppm. Pieter Tans is the lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, who took record of the heightened carbon dioxide levels. “Global Carbon Dioxide levels will not return to values below 400 ppm in our lifetime, and almost certainly for much longer,” he said.
This news followed a report earlier given that the Carbon Dioxide levels in Hawaii will remain at 400 ppm themselves for an entire year. Not since 4 million years past have Carbon Dioxide levels ranged to this calculably high recorded level. It was during the Pliocene epoch which habituated our hominin ancestors, australopithecines, that we can date parallel carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere of earth.
In merely a state of what is closer to symbolism, 400 ppm performs nevertheless a good function for simply dictating a patterned range of dramatic differences between earlier times of the general atmosphere of the planet to our current times as it is today. It was in the dawn of the industrial revolution, prior to the common burning of coal, oil and gas, emissions and overall levels of carbon dioxide sat close to 280 ppm. As you will anticipate, the following years of our earth’s ecology has given us the very easy-to-perceive steady increase of Carbon Dioxide in the air; rising steadily until its 400 ppm calculation in 2013; the first time ever in the course of history since our ancient days of roaming sloths and aardvarks.
Antarctica shares its land with an independent research station in which the findings of a figure of 400ppm is communicably shared. This report was established by the British Antarctic Survey. Their reporting’s are initiated from their Halley VI Research Station. And as the Carbon Dioxide levels are trapping the heat of the sun, I doubt any climatologist has possessed any ounce of surprise that 2016 marks the presumed record for the hottest year in history. “We know from abundant and solid evidence that the Carbon Dioxide increase is caused entirely by human activities,” says Tans. “Since emissions from fossil fuel burnings have been at a record high during the last several years, the rate of Carbon Dioxide increase has also been at a record high. And we know some of it will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.”