In life, everything comes at a cost. It’s all a matter of how much we’re willing to pay for what we want. Going by humanity’s actions, it seems we're ready to give up everything to meet our developmental goals.
For decades, the human race has been sacrificing nature and atmosphere to attain its developmental goals. We’ve cut down forests, polluted the air and water, and killed land and marine life. And all our actions have led us to our present situation where we're struggling to find breathable air. No, that’s not an exaggeration!
Today, the air quality surrounding habitable areas has deteriorated so much that we have enormous amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Did you know the CO2 levels in our air are above 400 parts per million (ppm)? If they keep increasing at this rate, we will soon have almost negligible amounts of breathable air left.
Don't believe us? Why don't you take a look at the studies yourself?
First, let's understand the role of CO2
The Earth's atmosphere comprises numerous gases, and CO2 is one of them. It's a naturally occurring gas but can also be generated by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil. CO2's primary function is to trap heat waves from escaping into space. In layman's terms, its work is to act as a blanket over the Earth's surface.
Now you might think that increasing the CO2 levels are good for our planet. But believe us, they're not! It's an indication that the issue of climate change is far from getting better.
The study and its significance
Since its establishment in 1950, Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory, which works under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been recording and updating CO2 levels. In June 2021, when the body analyzed the CO2 levels across nearby locations, they found them to have crossed the 400 ppm mark. Needless to say, it shocked many scientists since this had happened for the first time in three million years!
After conducting a lot of research, scientists declared that the increase in CO2 levels was an indication of the upcoming climate changes and the rise in sea levels. Earlier, when experts had examined air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice dating back to 800,000 years, they’d observed that CO2 levels increased with temperature. In the ice age, they were at around 180 ppm. But as time passed and a much warmer period came into existence, they kept increasing gradually to reach today’s drastic levels.
What can we expect in the future?
Seeing these numbers, you can easily make out that the levels of dangerous gases like carbon dioxide are only going to increase further with time. In addition to the obvious degradation of breathable air, what other effects they will cause is still unknown to us. Maybe we’ll just have to wait for more research to find out.