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400ppm.full

The bad news first: In 2015, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our planet's atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in millions of years.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) now looks like 2016 will mark another milestone for climate change for being the first year in which the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has consistently remained above 400ppm.
We have gradually increased the concentration of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere by burning more and more fossil fuels.  In 1800, before the Industrial Revolution, the concentration of CO2 was just 280 ppm.
Human emissions of CO2 remained reasonably stable in 2014 and 2015, but the recent El Niño produced drought in  tropcial regions, which meant that the vegetation growing there was less able to absorb CO2 than would otherwise be the case.
So that's the bad news.  The good news is that in 2015, renewables made up half of the net electricity generating capacity installed worldwide.  The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that capacity from renewables will grow faster than oil, gas, coal or nuclear power for the next five years.
Some 153 gigawatts of net capacity (net capacity is new generating capacity minus retired retired capacity) was installed across the world in 2015, which is equivalent to the entire generating capacity of Canada.
China is likely to lead the way in the growth of renewables adding 305 gigawatts over the next five years, followed by the US and Europe.  India is expected to install 76GW of new renewable capacity in the next five years.
So that's good news for the planet.  What's not quite so good though is that here in the UK, the outlook for renewables is currently looking less cheery, as the UK government has cut or ended subsidies for wind and solar power.  Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA has said of the UK "The potential [for renewables] is huge compared to what we are expecting."

Photo by Carbon Visuals

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