Scientists: Carbon dioxide in Earth atmosphere is at an all-time high

Scientists: Carbon dioxide in Earth atmosphere is at an all-time high
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Levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere are at an all-time high, the World Meteorological Organization announced Tuesday. 

Levels of the heat-trapping gas reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017, according to the scientists. The reported change was similar to that observed between 2016 and 2017, which the scientists said is just above the average over the last decade. 

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Carbon dioxide levels crossed the “symbolic and significant” 400 parts per million benchmark in 2015, the group said.

Other heat-trapping gasses, including methane and nitrous oxide, also saw surges in concentration levels over the past decade. The group reported that there’s been a 43 percent increase in total radiative forcing, the warming effect on the climate by long-lived greenhouse gases, since 1990. 

“There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” said World Meteorological Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. 

“We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of the mankind.” 

The same day as the organization’s announcement on carbon dioxide levels, the UN Environment Programme released a report warning that if global greenhouse gas emissions don’t decrease by 7.6 percent every year in the next decade the world will not be on track to reach the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. 

The report urged nations to boost current commitments to meet the temperature goal.