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Global atmospheric carbon concentrations surge, triggering UN ecological warnings


Human activities and the El Nino weather effect in 2016 drove carbon levels in Earth’s atmosphere to the highest levels seen in over 800,000 years, according to the new annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, by UN researchers from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Research stations in 51 countries around the globe took measurements of warming gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide to demonstrate average concentrations of CO2 have reached 403.3 parts per million last year, up from 400 parts per million in 2015, the highest increase YoY seen in the past 30 years. This YoY increase is also 50% higher than the previous 10-year average.

Although Emissions from human sources have slowed down in the last couple of years, the cumulative total concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has still increased, potentially initiating “unpredictable changes in the climate system, leading to severe ecological and economic disruptions”, the report said.

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