A new monthly record for atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has been recorded in February 2019, at 411.66 parts per million. Although this new record, observed at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, isn’t much higher than the previous record of 411.31 ppm, the fact that this new record happened nearly three months
Despite calls by the scientific community for the world to dramatically cut greenhouse gas production to address the problem of global warming, worldwide carbon dioxide emissions rose by 2.7 percent over the course of 2018, the largest increase seen in seven years. This news follows a series of call-to-arms warnings released by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Government’s National Climate Assessment, warning of the urgent need to cut emissions; additionally, a prediction from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts that El Niño conditions are very likely to form in the Pacific Ocean over the winter — conditions that may push 2019 into being the hottest year on record.
One of the ways that scientists propose that we tackle the problem of global warming is to actively remove greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere. To be an effective compliment to reducing our CO2 output from transport and industry, carbon sequestration will have to be done on a massive scale, meaning that the materials used in the process will need to be plentiful. One of those materials, magnesite, readily absorbs CO2, but there are both practical and economic limits keeping industry from mining the mineral in quantities large enough to be effective. However, researchers in Canada have discovered a way to quickly produce the mineral artificially.
While the world might be making the steady shift away from fossil fuel energy sources, there is concern that avoiding a climatological catastrophe might take more than simply halting our production of carbon dioxide waste, and that our civilization might need to start actively removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Numerous companies around the planet have been developing such an idea, a process called "carbon sequestration", including a Canadian company that is looking to do more than just remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: they plan to recycle the recovered greenhouse gas and use it as a carbon-neutral fuel source.