The primary driver of global warming, disruptive climate changes and ocean acidification is the ever-increasing amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
Despite decades of global efforts towards climate policies, clean energy and efficiency, CO2 levels continue to rise and are actually accelerating upwards. For those of us hoping for signs of climate progress, this most critical and basic climate data is bitter news indeed. It shows humanity racing ever more rapidly into a full-blown crisis for both our climate and our oceans.
Not the segment we want to see exponential growth.
NOAA's press releasehighlighted the "unprecedented" CO2 rise in last two years.
The scientists also pointed out that 2016 "was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater." Those last five years also broke a new record by exceeding +2.5 ppm per year for the first time.
This is coming on the heals of seemingly positive news.
Recently the climate press has been buzzing about a hopeful CO2 report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA estimates that fossil fuel CO2 didn't increase in either 2015 or 2016. Even better, they point out, this is the first time that has happened while the global economy expanded.
This is as big of a clue as ever that what we are doing is not close to enough. We need to make drastic changes fast.