The Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere has passed the critical point of 400 parts per million (ppm) according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The point is known as the Keeling curve which is an indication of the longest continuous record of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Ralph Keeling and his father Charles David Keeling have been recording the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii since 1958.
This unfortunate landmark was passed in September 2016. The month of September usually sees a fall in the CO2 levels below 400 ppm as plants start blooming and brings down the levels of this greenhouse gas. However this year the levels have not dropped below at any point.
Carbon Dioxide is the prime cause of global warming. The rise in this greenhouse gas is primarily caused by the increasing use of fossil fuels by automobiles and power plants. The levels of this gas have increased beyond the tipping point of 400 ppm, and this is a cause for alarm. Increasing levels of CO2, CH4, NO, is precipitating climate changes of epic proportions. The planet is becoming more and more difficult for the coming generations.
The last time this level was reached was some 4.5 million years ago when the levels crossed 415 ppm. The levels were 280 ppm at the start of the industrial revolution which was in 1800 to reach 400 ppm today. The burning of fossil fuel sources like oil, gas, and coal for energy needs was one of his biggest follies, and the after-effects are being felt even today.
Carbon Dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas and does not leave any trace to signify its presence. However, it is responsible for more than 63% of global atmospheric pollution. By the time the next generations begins the level will have crossed 410 ppm and this will be a point of no return.