On April 18, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, recorded that carbon levels in the atmosphere have exceeded the 410 ppm threshold for the first time in history. Last year, when the earth’s atmospheric CO2 levels were at 400 ppm, scientists predicted that the next milestone of 410 ppm was coming. While El Niño and other natural factors have caused more carbon dioxide to end up in the atmosphere, Climate Central notes that these new records are mostly driven by humans burning fossil fuels, which in turn, creates record amount of carbon dioxide.
Pieter Tans, an atmospheric scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says that the rate of increase will only go down when emissions are cut. However, “carbon dioxide will still be going up, albeit more slowly.” He further adds that when emissions are cut in half, atmospheric carbon dioxide will level off. But even so, the impacts of climate change will extend centuries into the future.