Report: Carbon Dioxide Levels In Atmosphere Hit Record High

The rise in carbon dioxide outpaced the last 10 years' average annual increase

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Martial Trezzin / AP

French Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of World Meteorological Organization, WMO, informs the media about the annual greenhouse gas bulletin in the atmosphere during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record-breaking high last year, according to a new report.

The report out Wednesday from the United Nations World Meteorological Organization found the greenhouse gas measure at 393.1 parts per million in 2012, exceeding the 350 parts per million that some scientists and environmental advocates have pegged as the maximum safe limit, the Associated Press reports. The 2012 levels were an increase of 2.2 parts parts per million from the previous year.

The U.N. weather agency predicts worldwide pollution levels will surpass 400 parts per million by 2016, which has already been recorded in individual measurement stations in 2012 and 2013.

Michel Jarraud, the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, said the increase in greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide reveals how the world hasĀ “upset the natural balance of our atmosphere and are a major contribution to climate change.”