Atmospheric CO2 levels hit a record high in 2016: UN warns increase could fuel a 20 metre rise in sea levels and add 3°C to global temperatures



  • The report shows that atmospheric CO2 hit 403.3 parts per million in 2016
  • In comparison, in 2015 levels were 400.0 parts per million, experts said
  • Sources such as coal, oil, cement and deforestation contribute to CO2 levels
  • The El Niño weather pattern also gave CO2 levels a further boost
  • The last time carbon dioxide levels reached 400 ppm was three to five million years ago, in the mid-Pliocene era 

The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere grew at a record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for millions of years, the United Nations has revealed.

This increase could fuel a staggering 20-metre rise in sea levels and add 3°C to temperatures.

Experts hope the findings will encourage environment ministers around the world to work on new guidelines for the Paris climate accord. 

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