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Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has now the highest levels in millions of years

For the first time in human history since humans have existed on Earth, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 415 parts per million, over the weekend, reaching 415.26 parts per million, according to sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory.

Levels have not been this high for millions of years. A recent report revealed that at least 1 million species were at risk of extinction thanks to human activity and the carbon emissions that are a byproduct of economic development. There is widespread scientific consensus that humans have caused the recent warming in Earth's atmosphere. As the NOAA notes, “increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth’s energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth’s average temperature.” The increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance causing Earth’s temperature to rise.

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Ralph Keeling, the director of the Scripps program that tracks CO2 concentrations said in a statement, "the average growth rate is remaining on the high end. The increase from last year will probably be around three parts per million whereas the recent average has been 2.5 ppm." A dedicated study found that CO2 emissions could soar to levels not seen in 56 million years by the middle of next century. In a world that is 2 degrees warmer, there will be 25% more hot days and heatwaves,  which bring with them major health risks and risks of wildfires. 37% of the population will be exposed to at least one severe heatwaves every five years, and the average length of droughts will increase by four months, exposing some 388 million people to water scarcity.

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