Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears

This article is about the high level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has reached the highest concentration ever seen before. Scientists have measured the gas produced and they reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million. Evidence has shown that the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years (before humans evolved) and scientists believe the rise in the gas is and will continue to be the cause of climate change as well as the rise in sea level. This is a major problem because scientists believe that there is a possibility that we will not be able to keep the climate below what people thought were a tolerable threshold. Little money is being spent to find alternative technologies for cars and plane trips because they are a major contribution to adding carbon dioxide into the air. China is the largest emitter but America has been consuming fossil fuels for a long time and experts say the US is more responsible than any other nation. Carbon dioxide rises and falls on a seasonal cycle, and the level will dip below 400 this summer as leaf growth in the Northern Hemisphere pulls about 10 billion tons of carbon out of the air. The burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41% increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution. Researchers fear that humanity will go back to the conditions million of years ago which will cause harm to the environment as well as to people. Some countries have created a target to limit the damage of global warming but this may take more than 25 years. Many countries on the other hand, have refused to adopt a national target such as the US and China because of the fear of a decline in the economy once again.

Marina Bryant

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/science/earth/carbon-dioxide-level-passes-long-feared-milestone.html?pagewanted=all

Nutrient Cycles and Climate Change: Carbon/ Global Warming Effects on the Environment

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