The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and could pass the important and symbolic averaged 400ppm level in the next several days.
Official readings at the Earth Systems Research lab in Hawaii are not expected to reach their 2013 peak until middle May. The Co2 numbers recorded had a daily average of 399.72ppm on April 25. And the weekly average stood at 398.5 Monday.
Hourly readings above 400ppm have been recorded six times in the last week. The Mauna Loa station… sited at 11155 feet and far away from major pollution sources in the Pacific Ocean… has been monitoring CO2 levels for more than 50 years.
Each year the concentration of CO2 at Mauna Loa rises from the year before… with the yearly peak in May… and the yearly minimum in November
Carbon Dioxide levels have been steadily rising for 200 years… registering around 280ppm at the start of the industrial revolution… and 316ppm in 1958 when the Mauna Loa observatory started measurements.
The increase in the global burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of the CO2 increase.
At this rate… scientists believe we will hit the 450ppm milestone within a few decades.
The last time CO2 levels were so high was probably in the Pliocene epoch between 3.2 million and 5 million years ago when Earth's climate was much warmer than today.
We have a stake in how this plays out… and there are ways we can do our part to reduce CO2 transmission. Track your personal carbon dioxide footprint… and help support clean energy technology which will help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
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