Carbon dioxide levels ‘exploded’ last year to reach record highs not seen since end of Ice Age, scientists warn

The Independent reports: Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “exploded” last year to reach a new record high not seen for thousands of years, scientists have announced.

The last time there was such a sustained increase in carbon dioxide concentrations was at the end of the last Ice Age, between 17,000 and 11,000 years ago. But the current increase is now about 200 times faster than then, they said.

A combination of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and the effects of the El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean have both contributed to the rapid rise at a time when the world is trying to curb emissions of the greenhouse gas, the researchers said.

Instruments monitoring CO2 levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded a jump of 3.05 parts per million (ppm) during 2015, which is the largest year-on-year increase in 56 years of research at the site, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [Continue reading…]

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