Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 8,00,000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.
According to The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the United Nations weather agency’s annual flagship report, “Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event.”
The UN has warned that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed last year to hit a level not seen for more than three million years, reported The Guardian.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now increasing 100 times faster than at the end of the last ice age due to population growth, intensive agriculture, deforestation and industrialisation, said the study. The last time Earth experienced similar CO2 concentration rates was during the Pliocene era (three to five million years ago) when the sea level was up to 20m higher than now. Moreover, with the planet warming up, El Ninos are expected to become more frequent.
“Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, we will be heading for dangerous temperature increases by the end of this century, well above the target set by the Paris climate change agreement,” World Meteorological Organisation chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement.
Countries across the world are failing to live up to their promises made in the Paris accord, 2015. A UN Environment report released on Tuesday, October 31, shows the gap between international goals and domestic commitments leaves the world on course for warming well beyond the 2C target and probably beyond 3C.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said earlier this year that India will go “above and beyond” the Paris accord on combating climate change. He described it as a “duty to protect Mother Earth.” The Logical Indian community hopes that India achieves what it promises. Despite the government’s stand on climate change, the ground reality continues to hurt the environment. Prior to the festival of Diwali, the Supreme Court has banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi – a verdict that was met with immense backlash, with many calling it an “attack” on the Hindu festival.
Climate change is real and can only be challenged collectively. It is an issue where all individual and political agendas need to be kept aside. Climate change can be fought only with the combined efforts of all nations in the world.