What does all this carbon dioxide mean for the Earth?
Here are three impacts this increase in carbon dioxide has had on our planet.
With rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (ppm), scientists observe a global increase in temperature. We refer to this phenomenon as ‘global warming’, a component of climate change, and evidence reveals that this positive relationship between the emission of greenhouse gases and temperature can be traced back to the 1800’s.
The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep temperature levels from increasing more than 1.5 °C from pre-industrial times.
The expansion of the ocean's volume due to warmer water
Rising Sea Levels
Increasing temperatures have facilitated the rapid melting of glaciers. Ultimately, melting glaciers coupled with thermal expansion contribute to the rise in sea levels seen today.
When analyzing this graph, it is important to acknowledge this is the rate at which sea level is increasing!
American Association for the Advancement of Science
As atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide rise (red line), those molecules dissolve into the ocean (green line), reacting with water to produce enormous amounts of hydrogen ions. This increase in hydrogen ions causes the ocean’s pH to decrease (blue line). This acidification prevents many calcifying marine organisms, such as coral, from maintaining their calcium carbonate structures.
Catlin Seaview Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration