Scientists recorded the largest single-year increase in carbon dioxide in 20 years in 2013, and total concentrations of the greenhouse gas are now set to cross the 400 parts-per-million mark as early as next year, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization said in a Sept. 9 report.
Globally, carbon dioxide levels hit 396 parts per million in 2013, an increase of 2.9 ppm, the largest year-to-year gain since 1984, according to the WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that levels of the heat-trapping gas must be kept below 450 ppm to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change related to rising global temperatures.
Daily concentrations of carbon dioxide already have crested the 400 ppm at observational sites in the Arctic in spring 2012 and at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in 2013.
At the current rate of increase, the annual average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “is set to cross the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016,” according to the WMO bulletin.
The 400 ppm threshold has been termed a “tipping point” by scientists—including James Hansen, the former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies—at which changes to the climate are believed to be irreversible.
According to NASA Goddard Institute's records, in 1880, the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was about 285 parts per million; by 1960, it had risen to about 315 parts per million.
For more information on subscribing to "Energy and Climate Report" or to try it for free, click here.
To sign up for email highlights, click here.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)