April Atmospheric CO2 Levels Hit Highest Average Ever Recorded

(From Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

April monthly average exceeds 410 parts per million for the first time in recorded history

The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 410.31 parts per million (ppm) for the month of April, according to the Keeling Curve measurement series made at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

This marks the first time in the history of the Mauna Loa record that a monthly average has exceeded 410 parts per million. This also represents a 30-percent increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the global atmosphere since the Keeling Curve began in 1958. In March, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego observed the 60th anniversary of the data series, the first measurements of which were 315 ppm.

Carbon dioxide is called a greenhouse gas for its ability to trap solar radiation and keep it confined to the atmosphere. It is the most prevalent among all greenhouse gases produced by human activities, attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.

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