Sorry Earth, Carbon Dioxide not this bad in 800,000 Years

Humans, 410 parts per million, nice job!

Michael K. Spencer
May 11, 2018 · 4 min read
VCG/VCG via Getty Images

I’m not even that environmentally conscious, but look it, we live immersed in digital and unassuming of our collective karma. We don’t easily take responsibility, it’s a diffusion of responsibility on epic proportions, oh-oh, this does not sound good.

So here’s the bad news for us and our descendants:

  • The average concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere just topped 410 parts per million, according to measurements from Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
  • It’s the highest CO2 level in the 800,000 years for which we have good data.
  • This is expected to have a catastrophic effect on human health and the planet itself. (writes Business Insider).

We Are Desensitized to News on Environmental Damage

We aren’t just desensitized by gun violence and mass shootings, it’s actually the things that matter the most, which we pay attention to the least.

The most perfect place in the solar system, and it’s going to get worse. Earth, the six major mass extinction is underway. Is this the price of human consciousness? We aren’t thoughtful animals.

If we can’t live in harmony with the galaxy, do we have the right to survive long-term? This is the sense of FutureSin we carry.

Carbon Dioxide You Say?

The concentration of carbon dioxide levels reached an all-time high in April, with a monthly average concentration of 410.31 parts per million, according to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

We have a pretty good idea of what Earth’s atmosphere has looked like for the past 800,000 years. We’ve only essentially been around 200,000 years according to Science. As our ecological science improves, we’re understanding the big picture better: by drilling more than 3 kilometers deep into the ice sheets over Greenland and Antarctica, scientists can see how temperature and atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels have changed since then.

It sounds a bit like 5th grade ecology class, but this is us. This is our humanity at stake, our relationship to all of nature, symbolic of our relationship to all life in the galaxy! Our human reputation is watched carefully. We, are not alone.

Experts blame continuous burning of fossil fuels for enhancing the planet’s natural “greenhouse effect.”

It seems we are more interested in re-engineering ourselves, than our environment.

April’s soaring carbon dioxide levels marked a 30 per cent increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the global atmosphere since 1958. — Martin Meissner,The Associated Press

Our population will continue rising until the mid 2050s by last accounts. Even as we aim to adopt green technology, much of the damage is done and scaling out of our control, or so it seems.

This amount is highest in at least the past 800,000 years, according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels had fluctuated over the millennia but had never exceeded 300 parts per million.

This chart shows the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as measured at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

From that record, we know the atmosphere and the air that we breathe has never had as much carbon dioxide in it as it does today. As we hit new milestones we’re reminded how our short-term thinking has sabotaged the quality of life of future generations.

This is a failure in government, a failure in human leadership and a failure of the human spirit to live in harmony with its environment. Can Millennials and GenZ live differently?

Industrial Era After-Effects will Last

For the 800,000 years for which we have records, average global CO2 levels fluctuated between about 170 ppm and 280 ppm. Once humans started to burn fossil fuels in the industrial era, things changed rapidly.

  • CO2 levels are roughly twice their normal levels in 2018.
  • Research shows that higher levels of this gas can even slow down human cognition.

Humanity Setting Records

410.31 parts per million (ppm) for the month of April, 2018.

The last time this occurred was likely in the Pliocene era, 2 million to 4.6 million years ago, when sea levels were 60 to 80 feet higher than today. We can expect the oceans to rise substantially in the next 80–150 years.

Or, was it in the Miocene, 10 million to 14 million years ago, when seas were more than 100 feet higher than now. Do you spot the common trend? Oh yeah, rising sea levels. Let’s see how Miami copes with those eh!

As humans we are pioneers, we’re also destroyers. The destroyer of worlds? We’ll find out one day, if we don’t go extinct before that happens.


Futurism articles bent on cultivating an awareness of exponential technologies while exploring the 4th industrial revolution.

Michael K. Spencer

Written by

Blockchain Mark Consultant, tech Futurist, prolific writer. LinkedIn: michaelkspencer



Futurism articles bent on cultivating an awareness of exponential technologies while exploring the 4th industrial revolution.