One of the last bastions of environmental "purity" has now officially caught up with its more populated continental counterparts. The last place on Earth that hadn't reached record levels of carbon dioxide has now reached it: Antarctica is at 400 parts per million (ppm). Collectively, the world passed the 400ppm threshold for a whole month last year...but now that Antarctica has hit it, we're truly living in a transformed world. Pretty darn scary. And even more remarkable? It's the first time Antarctica has passed that level in 4 million years. "The increase in carbon dioxide is everywhere, even as far away as you can get from civilization," says Pieter Tans, a carbon-monitoring scientist at the Environmental Science Research Laboratory. Most frighteningly, it seems that our planet has reached the threshold of 400ppm permanently. In other words, there's no turning back. This is a profound reminder of how human action (and inaction) has reshaped our planet. From rising sea levels and scorching temperatures, to bleached coral reefs and extreme weather, we've seen nature literally spin out of control over the last decade. All of that being said, we must remember that although some very serious environmental damage has been done, we can't give up. We must all work together to save and protect our common home. Avoid single-use plastic, save water whenever possible, choose reusable snack and beverage containers, invest in an electric vehicle. There are so many ways to be the change we want to see in the world.
As always, reduce, reuse, recycle, and conserve. Small, everyday changes can make a huge difference.