400 ppm CO2 makes me shiver!
MK Nature Design speaks of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere and the impact on our everyday lives. CO2 levels have reached 400 ppm and will probably stay there. What does this mean to us as people on a planet facing an environmental crisis?!
CO2 levels stayed at 400 ppm for the month of September (Ecowatch, September 29, 2016), a month that is usually low in CO2 concentrations during the year. This is an all time high and has raised concerns that the planet has reached a point that it can’t come back from. This increased CO2 level has occurred at the same time as high temperatures on the planet. The September low usually occurs when CO2 uptake by plants is overtaken by CO2 release from soils (Scripps Institute of Technology, The Keeling Curve, September 2016). This value of 400 ppm is a serious milestone (Motherboard, September 28, 2016). CO2 levels will probably not dip below this level.
What will this mean to us as a planet? Continued warming. This will result in the extinction of some species, food chain disruption, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification and coral bleaching (Motherboard, September 28, 2016). Due to climate change 1/4 of the earth’s species are headed for extinction. Some of these species are top predators. As the top predator in a food chain disappears it impacts it’s prey. Also as algae disappear due to climate change, zooplankton (the food of many such as cod and whales) disappear as well because they feed off of the algae. Seals eat cod and would be effected. If zooplankton decrease then seals, polar bears and whales go hungry and can even die from starvation. By 2100 it is estimated that 13 million people of the US will be affected by rising sea levels. The effect of rising sea levels has already been seen in the Pacific. The change in sea level is probably irreversible. This rising of sea levels will effect islands and coastal cities with irreversible flooding. The planet’s oceans are absorbing excess CO2 constantly which makes them more acid. This results in the killing of algae which in turn effects zooplankton which are the food of fish which are the food of man. Ocean acidification and warmer ocean temperatures means coral bleaching and dying. Algae are killed by warm temperatures and acidification, then the coral dies and zooplankton (as mentioned above) that eat the algae will be stressed and die off as well. The oceans are a vast source of food for man. If we change the delicate balance of the ocean it affects us all. We are all connected not just seals and whales and polar bears.
MK Nature Design just felt a shiver go through her. This 400 ppm CO2 gives me a shiver. Are you listening? Decrease your carbon foot print! The burning of carbon based fuels such as natural gas and gasoline results in high CO2 emissions. Buy local when you can. If you can’t, buy from the closest neighbor. Stop using airplanes if possible. Carpool. Buy solar or wind powered. Use hydroelectric, solar or wind powered energy. Invest in solar or wind power which are renewables. Nature is knocking at our door…..with high CO2 levels and high temperatures…the question is … are we as a planet listening and will we wake up soon enough to make a difference?
If you agree or disagree with the blog please leave a comment below or like, or you can like or share on Facebook. You can also retweet on Twitter. It makes me feel like my words are reaching people with this important message and that you care when you like my blog posts. We are at a critical time in the lifespan of the planet. Let’s be conscientious and protect her to the best of our abilities! Until next time….usually on Saturday at noon!