400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 3 million years of Earth history

An instrument near the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii has recorded a long-awaited climate milestone: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere there has exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 55 years of measurement—and probably more than 3 million years of Earth history.

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory, where record CO2 increases are being documented. Photograph: Richard Vogel/AP

We are altering the composition of our atmosphere at an unprecedented rate. Indeed, every single day we pour an additional 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the sky as if it were an open sewer. As the distinguished climate scientist Jim Hansen has calculated, the accumulated man made global warming pollution in the atmosphere now traps enough extra heat energy each day to equal the energy that would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-scale atomic bombs exploding every single day. It’s a big planet — but that is a LOT of energy.

The breaching of this climate milestone must act as a wake up to us all!

Just do a search on the web for 400ppm and you will find that all the experts are tearing their hair out. If you would like to know more there is excellent coverage from today’s Guardian which also includes, at the end of the article, a link to an interactive set of slides.

Can you tweet about this, send it to your friends, ask your MP what they are doing, tell your councillors how important this is to you, raise in your any organisations that you are involved with, get your boss to think about it?

This is not just a climate issue. As George Monbiot says today “Without a widespread reform of campaign finance, lobbying and influence-peddling and the systematic corruption they promote, our chances of preventing climate breakdown are close to zero.

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