UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. says the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that the rise was fueled by the El Nino, an unusual weather pattern caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean. El Nino leads to droughts in tropical regions and reduces the capacity of forests and oceans to absorb carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.
The U.N.-linked World Meteorological Organization said in a statement that the globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and surged again to new records this year.
The organization predicts that carbon dioxide concentrations will stay above 400 ppm throughout 2016 and not dip below that level for many generations.