Data from the Mauna Loa Observatory on the Big Island shows concerning news about the state of the earth's environment.

Data shows the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached levels never seen in the entirety of human existence -- that's 800,000 years.

So why is so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere a bad thing? Experts say it prevents Earth's natural cooling cycle from working -- meaning heat is trapped near the surface, causing global temperatures to rise.

Scientists say the high levels are due, in part, to the burning of fossil fuels and cutting down forests.

Experts warn the problems will continue unless the world's governments come together and take immediate action.