Two weeks ago, scientists reported that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas which traps light and heat within the atmosphere, passed the symbolic average of 400 parts per million (ppm) – 350 ppm is the approximate level many environmental advocates believe is needed to prevent significant changes in our climate. This milestone now marks the highest atmospheric concentration of CO2 in three million years. Though CO2 concentrations fluctuate throughout the year based on the amount of plant growth, the concentration is rising every year as more and more fossil fuels are burned. May is typically when CO2 concentrations are highest, so we can expect that they will drop over the next few months.
While this milestone is more symbolic than earth shattering, it is yet another milestone in the saga of climate change that we will inevitably be forced to deal with. We really cannot afford to wait any longer to accelerate our move to a more sustainable energy grid. Be sure to tell your Congressmen and Senators to support comprehensive climate change legislation.