This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
You are in:Learning English > News English > Words in the News
Learning English - Words in the News
15 March, 2006 - Published 14:51 GMT
Big rise in CO2
Rocky Mountains
Air samples have been taken from the Rocky Mountains and other parts of the world

US climate scientists in Colorado have recorded a big rise in the amount of carbon dioxide in the world's atmosphere. Their research indicates that 2005 saw one of the largest increases ever recorded. David Shukman reports from Colorado:

Listen to the story

Carbon dioxide is seen as the key gas driving global warming so its level is monitored very closely. Samples of air are gathered all over the world and sent here to Boulder in Colorado to the US government's global monitoring project. Studies show that the level of carbon dioxide now stands at three hundred and eighty one parts per million. That's a record, according to the researchers. It's the result of one of the largest annual increases for the past fifty years and it confirms a trend - that the rate of increase has doubled in the last thirty years. We asked the British government's chief scientist for his reaction. Sir David King says the new figures are worrying.

Today we're at three hundred and eighty parts per million, we're over three eighty parts a million. This is higher than the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere for at least a million years, possibly for thirty million years. So mankind is changing the climate.

This sharp increase comes just as the Kyoto Treaty takes effect. It's meant to bring carbon emissions down. The evidence of this new data is clear though - that efforts to curb the rise in greenhouse gases are, for the moment, failing, and the consequences that climate scientists have long warned about look far more likely.

Listen to the words

most important

global warming
the increase of the world's temperature



That's a record
It has never been so big i.e. the amount of CO2

it confirms a trend
it is what was expected

the world's people (mankind is singular)

Kyoto Treaty takes effect
governments begin to follow the rules of the agreement


have long warned about
for a long time have said would be a problem or danger

Do a comprehension quiz about this story

For teachers
Lesson planLesson plan based on this story (110K)
27 May, 2011
Destruction of smallpox virus delayed
25 May, 2011
Micro-finance 'misused and abused'
20 May, 2011
Lonely planets
18 May, 2011
Germany to invest in more electric cars
16 May, 2011
Argentina builds a tower of books
Other Stories