Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
If you watched cable news at all this weekend, you probably heard a lot about Donald Trump's bad week and how it was a turning point in the presidential campaign.
But you probably didn't hear anything about another big turning point, one that demonstrates how little time we really have left to stop climate change.
Last week, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography announced that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has stayed above 400 parts per million throughout the entire year up to this point.
We've crossed the 400 parts per million (or PPM) threshold before -- sometimes for weeks at a time, sometimes for months -- but the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere usually dips at the beginning of autumn, something that just hasn't happened this year.
As a result, scientists now think that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will stay above 400 parts per million permanently.
That's right -- permanently, as in FOREVER, at least in human terms.
This is, to paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden, a big "effing" deal.
The last time there was this much carbon in the atmosphere, human beings didn't even exist, at least not in our current form. And just for some perspective, 400 parts per million is already about 50 parts per million more than what most scientists consider "safe" levels of CO2 concentration.
So yeah, things don't look good at all for planet Earth.
Couple this with vanishing Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels and the fact that 2016 has already been the hottest year on record, and things look even worse.
As if it wasn't already obvious before, it should be now: We are rapidly running out of time to stop climate change.
We're already in the danger zone, and every single day we keep pumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere just pushes us closer towards total climate devastation.
The situation may even be worse than most people realize.
For example, James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, now argues that the 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels threshold -- that most international institutions say is the baseline of how much warming we can take -- is "nonsense" and "a prescription for disaster."