We’ve Passed The Carbon Dioxide ‘Tipping Point,’ But What Does That Actually Mean?

09.29.16 3 years ago 7 Comments

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Our planet breathes, much like we do, and that means, over time, carbon dioxide levels dip and rise as trees absorb carbon in the spring and summer and release it when their leaves fall. September is typically the low water mark for the yearly atmospheric CO2 levels, but what does it mean when they don’t drop as low as expected?

The Carbon Dioxide Tipping Point, Explained

The basic problem climate scientists have discovered is that this year the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hasn’t dipped below 400 parts per million (as measured from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory). Considering that carbon dioxide gas most commonly associated with climate change, that’s a bad thing. For a quick, handy summary of how climate change works, and the indescribable environmental bummer it can prove to be, let’s turn to Futurama:

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