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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Carbon Dioxide levels break record yet again

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(WBNG) -- Earlier this week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA released its annual report on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The new data indicated CO2 levels rose to 421 parts per million (ppm) which is the highest in roughly 3.6 million years according to NOAA. The previous record high was set back in 2020 at 417 ppm.

Scientist have a good understanding of past level of carbon dioxide due to all of the advances in technology and the advancements in paleoclimatology research. Specifically, ice cores provide an accurate picture of CO2 levels throughout time. With the knowledge of past CO2 levels, scientist know the correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature. It is widely accepted that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere regulate Earth's temperatures.

Since the start of the industrial revolution, Humans have been releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burn fossil fuels. The graph below illustrates how CO2 levels and temperatures have changed from 1880-2020.

As a whole, the globe is now 1.98°F warmer compared to the preindustrial age average.

What is the big deal about warming just a few degrees? Only a few degrees of warming will cause a chain reaction of consequences.

As the world warms, there will be more heat in the atmosphere. Heat equals energy. With more energy, there is the potential for an increase in more extreme weather events such as December's 40-inch snowstorm and the flooding events of 2006 and 2011.

The best way to help prevent the impacts of more extreme weather here in the Southern Tier is to mitigate the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Jason Doris

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