Earth's most remote continent finally caught up with its more populated counterparts. “Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, setting a new high year after year,” writes Brian Kahn at Climate Central
. “There’s a notable new entry to the record books. The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it.”
In the remote reaches of Antarctica, the South Pole Observatory carbon dioxide observing station cleared 400 ppm on May 23, according to an announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday. That’s the first time it’s passed that level in 4 million years (no, that’s not a typo).
The South Pole Observatory in Antarctica could see carbon dioxide readings fall below 400 ppm again, but new research published earlier this week shows that the planet as a whole has likely crossed the 400 ppm threshold permanently--at least, for our lifetimes.
“The increase of carbon dioxide is everywhere, even as far away as you can get from civilization,” Pieter Tans, a carbon-monitoring scientist at the Environmental Science Research Laboratory, told Climate Central. “If you emit carbon dioxide in New York, some fraction of it will be in the South Pole next year.”
[Climate Central via Scientific American]
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