Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere are expected to raise up to 400ppm by mid-May for a first time in human history, according to estimates of NOAA-operated Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
According to climatologists and geochemists, if the rate of increase remains, it is likely that the concentrations reach 450ppm in the Northern hemisphere, in the next few decades.
Such increase is expected to trigger further discussions on carbon taxes, greenhouse gas requirements and regulations, which concern power plants.
It is argued that if levels exceed 350ppm, disruptive and irreversible climate change is very likely to occur. If emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases, including CO2, continue to increase, even after they are completely curtailed, climate change will have its effect for the next 1000 years.
Although industrialized nations have already reduced their carbon emissions, burning of fossil fuels still adds to the increase in atmospheric concentrations. Mauna Loa now provides daily updates on CO2 measurements, thanks to the recently launched Keeling Curve Twitter account.