Grim Milestone Reached May 9, 2013 – Do We Have Your Attention Yet?

The level of carbon dioxide has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years. Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million “It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.

Ralph Keeling, who runs another monitoring program at the Scripps Institutution of Oceanography in San Diego said, “It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds”. Most car rides, every plane trip and, in most places, every flip of an “on” switch adds carbon dioxide to the air.

Scientists from some of the most prestigious institutions are weighing in on this occasion, “It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, at Columbia University. Mark Pagani, a Yale geochemist said, “I feel like the time to do something was yesterday.”