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Camden O’Gara

CO2 Levels Have Risen do to Mankind and Its Causing Climate Change
Climate change is a major problem, and a real issue. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the main
heat trapping gas in our atmosphere and is a major cause of the warming of earth. I believe that
this is not a natural process, and that the industrialization of the world, and lack of care for our
CO2 emissions has led to the global warming we are experiencing.
After analyzing the data collected in a study done by an international team led by Egbert
van Nes of Wageningen University I have come to a conclusion that CO2 emissions are due to
mankind’s actions. The researchers measured the CO2 in the atmosphere at Mauna Loa
Observatory, where they found the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere to be over 400 ppm for the
first time ever. Their study was to find out and calculate the ppm of the CO2 in the atmosphere.
This study just gave us numbers of past ppm and how rapidly they’ve changed in the past 50
years.
I believe industrialization is the biggest factor that has led to The atmospheric
concentration of CO2 has increased dramatically, from a pre-industrial era (AD 1000 – 1750)
concentration of approximately 280 parts per million (ppm) to today's 400 ppm. These drastic
changes in CO2 ppm are directly due to human’s high level of CO2 emissions. I think this
because, atmospheric CO2 contains information about its source. Scientists can tear apart and
determine how much CO2 comes from natural sources, and how much sources comes from
combusted fossil fuel. Scientist believe that different type of CO2 emissions have different
signatures that they can figure out and determine if the CO2 came naturally or was created from
combusted fossil fuels.
The ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere has been rising steadily at 3 ppm for the past 25
years, and if this continues the levels will continue to sky rocket and cause even more global
warming. The ramifications of this could be very significant, and major problems such as
famine, melting of the ice caps, and unlivable conditions in some areas could occur. If not dealt
with CO2 emissions could drastically affect our daily lives. People need to take action by
reducing their CO2 emissions and our governments need to start using fuels that are better for the
environment. Continuing to use combustible fossil fuels will further the problem we have with
CO2 in the atmosphere, and there’s nothing nature can do to help if we continue to pump
harmful CO2 into the atmosphere.
“How Do We Know That Humans Are the Major Cause of Global Warming?” Union of
Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/human-
contribution-to-gw-faq.html#.WtnwY4jwbIV.
Knapp, Alex. “Research Confirms That Carbon Dioxide Led To Higher Temperatures In The
Past.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Mar. 2015,
www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2015/03/30/research-confirms-that-carbon-dioxide-led-to-higher-
temperatures-in-the-past/#755c48ee1366.