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Carbon Dioxide In Atmosphere Is Highest In 800,000 Years: Here Are The Top Sources Of Emission

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The concentration of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is highest in the last 800,000 years. Here are the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions, according to EPA.   ( John Macdougall | AFP/Getty Images )

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego revealed that the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has reached record high in April.

Scripps revealed in a statement released on May 2 that observation taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii showed that the concentration of the greenhouse gas increased to 410.31 parts per million last month. This is the highest concentration of carbon dioxide in the last 800,000 years.

"Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, CO2 levels had fluctuated over the millennia but had never exceeded 300 ppm at any point in the last 800,000 years," Scripps said in a statement.

Scripps scientist Ralph Keeling, who has the longest continuous record of the planet's atmospheric carbon dioxide, blamed the burning of fossil fuels that resulted in carbon dioxide continuously building up in the air.

Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas produced by man-made activities and is highly associated with climate change. Greenhouses gases trap heat so they make the planet warmer. Other greenhouse gases that are also known to contribute to global warming include methane and ozone.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that human activities are behind almost all of the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases over the last 150 years.

Here are the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to EPA. The country is one of the top emitters of greenhouse gases worldwide.

Transportation

The transportation sector is behind nearly 28. 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation mainly come from burning fossil fuels for planes, ships, trains, and cars.

Production Of Electricity

About 68 percent of electricity in the United States is produced from the burning of fossil fuels, primarily natural gas and coal.

Industry

Industries emit greenhouse gas from the burning of fossil fuels needed for energy. Certain chemical reactions needed to produce goods from raw materials also generate greenhouse gas.

Businesses And Homes

The greenhouse gas emissions from homes and business are mainly from the use of products that contain greenhouse gases, handling of water and burning of fossil fuels for heat.

Agriculture

Livestock especially cow, rice production, and agricultural soils contribute to the increasing amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. A study by the United Nations Environment Program claims that beef is particularly a climate-harmful meat and beef production is the leading perpetrator of climate change.

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