The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest ever recorded level, according to US-based scientists.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) weather station in Hawaii recorded carbon dioxide at about 419 parts per million last month, more than at any time since measurements began in 1958.
Pieter Tans, a scientist with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory warned there would be catastrophic results if more action was not taken to combat carbon dioxide emissions – a key driver in climate change.
One way businesses can play their part is through green energy procurement and behavioural change in the workplace. A reduction in the use of energy sourced from fossil fuel is one of the key ways in tackling the problem.
“We are adding roughly 40 billion metric tons of CO2 pollution to the atmosphere per year,” Tans wrote in the report. “That is a mountain of carbon that we dig up out of the Earth, burn, and release into the atmosphere as CO2 – year after year.”
The amount of carbon in the air now is as much as it was about 4 million years ago, a time when sea level was 78 feet (24 metres) higher than it is today and the average temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than it was before the Industrial Revolution, the report said.
Despite the pandemic lockdown resulting in a significant reduction in road use and energy consumption, scientists could not see a drop in the overall amount of carbon in the atmosphere. This was partly attributed to the prevalence of wildfires, which release carbon into the atmosphere.