Click the link to read the article on The New York Times website (Henry Fountain). Here’s an excerpt:
Humans pumped 36 billion tons of the planet-warming gas into the atmosphere in 2021, more than in any previous year. It comes from burning oil, gas and coal.
The amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere broke a record in May, continuing its relentless climb, scientists said Friday. It is now 50 percent higher than the preindustrial average, before humans began the widespread burning of oil, gas and coal in the late 19th century.
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than at any time in at least 4 million years, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said.
The concentration of the gas reached nearly 421 parts per million in May, the peak for the year, as power plants, vehicles, farms and other sources around the world continued to pump huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Emissions totaled 36.3 billion tons in 2021, the highest level in history.
As the amount of carbon dioxide increases, the planet keeps warming, with effects like increased flooding, more extreme heat, drought and worsening wildfires that are already being experienced by millions of people worldwide. Average global temperatures are now about 1.1 degrees Celsius, or 2 degrees Fahrenheit, higher than in preindustrial times.