At 399 ppm, India matches the world in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels

In news

  • The first-ever picture of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over India shows that it is way above the safety mark and in line with what has been observed in other parts of the world.
  • Since the 1950s, scientists have been measuring the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at observatories such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii and since the 1990s, using satellite images.

Consequences of level of CO2 beyond  350

  • For every million gas molecules in the atmosphere, anything beyond 350 carbon dioxide molecules, is considered unsafe.
  • These concentrations are likely to trap enough heat to trigger extreme climate events the world over and it would become progressively harder, and costlier, to suck out the excessive CO2.
  • In 2015, the global average was 400 ppm, according to reports from Mauna Loa.

Levels of CO2 in India

  • In India, according to a report published in the latest issue of Current Science, the average CO2 level was 399 parts per million (ppm) in 2015.
  • Cape Rama, a coastal station in Goa, where CO2 levels have been monitored for over a decade, the level shot up to 408 ppm.
  • The findings, based on readings from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) — a NASA satellite to monitor the environment — reveal that pockets of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh saw CO2 concentrations hover much higher between 405 ppm and 410 ppm.
  • Southern India and the western coast saw concentrations between 395 ppm and 400 ppm while the central and northern regions registered between 400 and 405 ppm.

 Generally CO2 levels increase slightly during winter due to reduced vegetation”

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