Forecasting Change: Skyrocketing carbon in our atmosphere

Significant increase in carbon over last 100 years

Skyrocketing carbon
Skyrocketing carbon

ORLANDO, Fla. – Through ice core drilling in the Antarctic, scientists have been able to track the increase of carbon over the past 800,000 years. In the last 100 years, the increase has been off the charts. Check out the graphic below. In the last 100 years, carbon dioxide has skyrocketed.

Over the course of time, we can track the level rise and then slowly fall. The pattern becomes alarming in the last century. This visual display is referred to as “The Carbon Skyscraper.” The “Skyscraper” started to grow at the start of the Industrial Revolution. And it shows no signs of slowing down.

Skyrocketing carbon

We have had this much carbon in the atmosphere before, but that was 3.6 million years ago. Back then, the temperature was 7 degrees hotter than today, and the sea level was about 78 feet higher.

Here is why you should care. Carbon and warming go hand in hand. The more carbon in the atmosphere, the hotter things will get.

And here’s something to think about. Once carbon gets into the atmosphere, it is staying around for a long time. So even if we stopped putting carbon dioxide into the air right now, the warming will continue.

And we are getting ever closer to the 1.5 degree increase of pre-industrial temperatures in the Paris Agreement.

Global Temperatures and Carbon Dioxide

Until we find a way to get carbon out of the atmosphere, the heating will continue.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.