Issue of the Day

Time to freak out: Earth’s carbon dioxide levels are now irreversible

carbon dioxide carbon emissions CO2

Carbon dioxide is bad for the planet. And we may not be able to fix it at this point. (ubcmicromet/Flickr)

The world is getting ready to cross a major climate change marker which will more or less prove that global warming is irreversible.

This is Cape Grim, located in the northwestern part of Tasmania, Australia:

It's the most accurate spot in the southern hemisphere to monitor carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

cape grim

The Global Atmosphere Watch station at Cape Grim. (World Meteorological Organization/Flickr)

And for the first time, Cape Grim will be at 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide.

Just FYI, the safe level of carbon dioxide is 350 ppm.

Once this happens, the level of carbon dioxide on Earth will never again go below 400 ppm, according to scientists. In other words, we're in a state of permanent danger from CO2.

carbon dioxide

We've had a long time to head off this problem. Here's an article about the dangers of carbon from 1932. (Alexander Wrege/Flickr)

Another station in Hawaii already crossed the 400 ppm milestone in 2013.

The last time the levels were this high, humans did not exist.

time to freak out


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Time to freak out: Earth’s carbon dioxide levels are now irreversible

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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