This past weekend, the atmospheric levels of carbon registered at 415 parts per million, entering us into an entirely new realm of climate change. To put things into perspective, you must understand that this is the highest level of concentration in over 3 million years, and even beyond human presence on Earth.

“We don’t know a planet like this,” Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and writer at Grist, an online environmental magazine, posted on Twitter. 

“This is the first time in human history our planet’s atmosphere has had more than 415 ppm CO2,” Holthaus tweeted. “Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago.”

And while the levels experienced during that time were beyond anything that we have ever experienced, they never surpassed 300 parts per million. And scientists believe that CO2 is the green light gas that is most responsible for global warming today, with fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas being burned daily to power our ever progressing world.

The levels taken were taken by the Mauno Lao Observatory in Hawaii, by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and while Holthaus had strong opinions regarding the move, he isn’t the only one. Every organization that touched on the issue held the same frustrations, alarm, and new demands for true action to change our environment, before we reached a new level of no return.

We can’t undo the damage we have already created, but as Juan Cole, historian on the pre-historic era explained, “What can be stopped is its getting any worse,” Cole concluded. “But that would require moving with blinding speed to wind and solar power and electric cars.”

He states we need action, not talk to change the world before it’s too late. Are we up to the challenge?

Image via Time

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