This National Geographic article discusses how carbon dioxide levels are at a record high. Carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas that drives global climate change, continues to rise every month. Find out the dangerous role it and other gases play.
BY TRAPPING HEAT from the sun, greenhouse gases have kept Earth’s climate habitable for humans and millions of other species. But those gases are now out of balance and threaten to change drastically which living things can survive on this planet—and where.
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide—the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas—are at the highest levels ever recorded. Greenhouse gas levels are so high primarily because humans have released them into the air by burning fossil fuels. The gases absorb solar energy and keep heat close to Earth’s surface, rather than letting it escape into space. That trapping of heat is known as the greenhouse effect.
The second article discusses how carbon dioxide hits a level not seen for 3 million years. Here’s what that means for climate change — and humanity. Scientists are sounding the alarm over the potential for catastrophic changes to our environment. On Saturday, sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii indicated that concentrations of the greenhouse gas — a byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels — had reached 415 parts per million (ppm), meaning that for every 1 million molecules of gas in the atmosphere, 415 were of carbon dioxide.