Earth’s carbon dioxide levels highest in over 3 million years, NOAA says

The COVID-19 pandemic did nothing to slow the root cause of global warming. 

Smoke billowing from a steel factory in China; the rise in CO2 levels is warming the planet; climate change is driven by human activity.

The level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is now higher than it’s been in at least 3.6 million years, federal scientists announced Wednesday.

At that time, sea levels were as much as 78 feet higher, the average temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in pre-industrial times, Greenland was mostly green, and Antarctica had trees. 

From the BBC’s Science Editor

Overall, levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane – the two most important greenhouse gases – continued their unrelenting rise in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

“Human activity is driving climate change,” said Colm Sweeney of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory, in a statement released Wednesday. “If we want to mitigate the worst impacts, it’s going to take a deliberate focus on reducing fossil fuels emissions to near zero – and even then we’ll need to look for ways to further remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.”

Source: USA Today NOAA