A report published in The Independent today (25th Jan 2019) states that scientists from the Met Office are predicting a surge this year (2019) in CO2 levels. This is because of rising emissions due to the world’s continued use of fossil fuels will combine with reduced absorption of greenhouse gas by withering grasslands and forests, due to unprecedented heat.
A further explanation about the prediction is as follows:
“CO2 levels will be at a record high once again after emissions reached unprecedented levels last year, dashing hopes the world had finally hit “peak carbon”.
Besides fossil fuels pumping out the harmful gas, natural weather fluctuations will exacerbate the problem as they hamper the ability of carbon sinks to store it.
In 2019 an upward swing in tropical Pacific Ocean temperature will make many regions warmer and drier.
As drought sets in and plants dry out, they will be less capable of sucking CO2 from the atmosphere, and massive deforestation in places like the Amazon is making this problem even worse.
The new predictions were based on monitoring at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, which has registered a 30 per cent increase in the concentration of CO2 since 1958.
“Carbon sinks have saved us from what has already happened – the future rise would have been about double if it wasn’t for the sinks. So we are lucky they exist, to be honest,” Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office Hadley Centre told The Independent.
CO2 is by far the biggest contributor to climate change, and global efforts to prevent environmental disaster largely focus on transitioning away from industries that pump it into the air.
Scientists welcomed the new data collected in Hawaii, describing it as “a call to innovate with rapid and radical responses” to the looming crisis.
“We need to reduce emissions from fossil fuel use, increase soil carbon sequestration to ‘lock-up’ CO2, decelerate deforestation and land conversion, and promote less polluting more sustainable agriculture,” said Professor Nick Ostle from Lancaster University, who was not involved in the Met Office research. “It’s a massive challenge but there are real opportunities to make an impact individually and globally.”