Friday, June 21, 2024

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Will Carbon Levels In Our Atmosphere Ever Go Down?

To anyone that’s paid attention to climate change over the last decade, you might have noticed that the carbon levels in our atmosphere grow every single year without fail. As of February 3rd, there is 419.39 ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere.

Even amidst 2020, a year that saw the world shut down, the total concentration was on the rise. This begs the question, will it ever go back down?

Let’s take a look at the significance of carbon concentration on our planet.

Carbon Dioxide Levels In Our Atmosphere Will Not Decrease

One of the best analogies for carbon and our atmosphere is a bathtub.

Imagine filling a bathtub halfway and then leaving it like that for years. However, someone keeps adding more water to it every year. And that amount of water being added is getting larger and larger. Eventually, the tub overflows.

That’s exactly what is happening in our atmosphere.

Each year the world is releasing massive amounts of carbon and other heat-trapping gasses. Scientists believe that our world should be within the 300 to 350 ppm. However, we are well past that point with no reversal in sight.

Carbon takes between 300 and 1,000 years to leave our atmosphere. Thus, barely any of it is leaving while literal tons of it is being added.

So as long as we continue to add to the atmosphere, it will never actually go down. At least, not naturally in our lifespan.

It Will Take Two Steps To Lower Carbon Levels

If I were to simplify the entire process into two steps, it would look like this:

  1. Eliminate Carbon Emissions
  2. Deploy Carbon Removal Technology

While this sounds simple, it is anything but straightforward. Just step one would be incredibly difficult, and even with nations around the world pledging to do more, the only thing we are actually getting is adding more carbon.

The current global goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is very unlikely even with the latest round of pledges.

In regards to step 2, the technology does not exist on the scale it needs to. That’s why people like Elon Musk are trying to advance carbon removal technology beyond just planting trees. Trees help, but it’s just not enough.

In no uncertain terms, carbon removal technology is essential for reversing the harmful effects of climate change, however, it may be too late by the time it’s ready.

Only the World Is At Stake

The world we live in is at stake. If we cannot curb the emissions of heat-trapping gases, our world will not be the same place.

As the temperatures rise, glaciers begin melting, which in turn raises the sea level. This puts coastal regions around the world at risk for flooding. It also increases the danger that tropical storms pose to certain regions.

The warmer weather will also see insects like mosquitoes travel to new areas. This will certainly spread diseases like Malaria to new locations that are not prepared to handle it. And this is just scratching the surface.

Climate change requires immediate action, and it’s just not happening.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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