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Enjoy Earth While It Lasts: Atmospheric Carbon Levels Pass the Point of No Return

440ppmEnjoy Earth While It Lasts: Atmospheric Carbon Levels Pass the Point of No Return

The bad news: Earth’s climate change problem just passed a point of no return. Atmospheric carbon levels have passed 400 parts per million, and they won’t return to more environment-friendly levels “ever again for the indefinite future.”

The good news? Oh, wait, no. Sorry. We’re pretty screwed.

We already knew it was bad. After all, in the last 20 years, humanity destroyed 1.27 million square miles—10 percent—of the Earth’s wilderness. Climate change has “devastated” 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef. The world’s so screwed that genius Stephen Hawking recently claimed that “the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space.” 

But now we really, really know we’re in trouble. Scientist Ralph Keeling, who’s in charge of the Scripps Institute for Oceanography’s carbon dioxide monitoring program, wrote in a blog that “it already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year—or ever again for the indefinite future.”

Similarly, NASA’s chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt told Climate Central, “In my opinion, we won’t ever see a month below 400 ppm.”

This year is set to be the hottest year on record—following 16 record-hot months straight, the longest streak the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recorded in its 137 years.

A lot of problems come with climate change. Because of it, one-fourth of the Earth’s species could be extinct by 2050. It also screws up food webs, as polar bears are finding out the hard way. Millions and millions of people will have to relocate due to rising sea levels, with scientists estimating that over 13 million Americans might have to move by 2100. read more at