Legalbrief 13 May, 2019
Climate Change: Global CO2 levels highest in 800 000 years
Climate denial in the US is a major obstacle for co-ordinated efforts to combat global warming, writes Legalbrief, as scientists warn that CO2 levels are peaking at an all-time high. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit 415 parts per m i l l i o n last week for the first time in 800 000 years. Scientists have warned that the world must keep CO2 emissions below 350ppm to avoid dangerous levels of climate change – but emissions keep rising. According to a Fin24 report, the record high was measured on 3 May at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, part of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) global monitoring division. This is the highest level recorded at this station since it began keeping records in 1959. Analysis of the ice cores in Antarctica show that over the past 800 000 years the CO2 levels in the atmosphere fluctuated between 170ppm and 300ppm. Suzanne Carter, programme manager for SouthSouthNorth, an NGO that supports responses to climate change through collaboration, said the Mauna Loa station had the longest recorded direct measurements of CO2. The fact that the high CO2 concentration recorded there last week had never been recorded before showed that levels were continuing to rise ‘despite our best efforts to curb emissions’. ‘A lot more needs to be done to increase our green energy sources and reduce emissions. We need to get serious about meeting the Paris Agreement commitments. If not, we risk accelerating negative climate impacts, which as we know, are greater in already vulnerable regions, like Africa,’ Carter said.