Carbon Dioxide Reaches Dangerous Level
Usually, during this time of year before plant life blossoms in the North, the heat-trapping of carbon dioxide in the air reaches an annual peak. However, this year's annual peak crossed a dangerous level. The heat-trapping of carbon dioxide in the air is now 50% higher than when the Industrial Age began.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average carbon dioxide level during May was approximately 420 parts per million. NOAA climate scientist Pieter Tans said that this level is 1.8 parts per million higher than May, 2020.
As a result of plants beginning to grow, the carbon dioxide levels start to decrease for a short period of time as the plants suck some of the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to perform photosynthesis to survive. However, humans have to stop relying on this mechanism since the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels far exceeds what plants can take in. Therefore, greenhouse gas levels set new records every year.
It is vital to take climate change seriously since it causes dangerous effects. Other than increasing the overall temperature of the atmosphere, climate change results in making extreme weather worse, which includes deadly floods, droughts, wildfires, and storms, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Additionally, there are numerous health effects, including heat deaths, and increased pollen, associated with climate change.
Many people believe that lockdowns caused by the pandemic may reduce the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere since transportation levels decreased. However, those reductions were too small to make a significant difference. In fact, carbon dioxide can site in the air up to 1,000 years according to NASA.
Consequently, it is vital to take action to help solve this problem. By committing to strong and achievable goals, we can make significant change that can result in overall reductions in carbon dioxide levels. Mission Tomorrow's goal is to participate in environmental sustainability activities to help play a role in these actions.