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Concentration of CO2 in Atmosphere Hits Record High: UN

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The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has hit a new high, the U.N. said Monday, warning that drastic action is needed to achieve targets set by the Paris climate agreement.

"Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016," with rates hitting 403.3 parts per million in 2016, the World Meteorological Organization said.

The 2016 increase was 50 percent higher than the past 10 years' average.

The report states CO2 concentrations are at the highest levels in 800,000 years, increasing at a rate 100 times faster than at the end of the last ice age.

Human emissions and El Nino tropical storm patterns, which hindered plant absorption of CO2, are both to blame for the rise, scientists say.

The implications of the jump in CO2 concentration will have a severe negative impact on the targets of the Paris climate pact, observers say.

The report comes just a week before the next round of U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Germany, aimed at advancing and clarifying the guidelines of the Paris agreement.

Turkey signed onto the agreement in April 2016, promising to reduce its emissions by 21 percent in 14 years. Despite U.S. President's announcement of intentions to withdrawal from the pact, Turkey has remained steadfast, urging other signatory countries to continue the fight against climate change.

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