Global carbon dioxide levels have soared past 410 parts per million, the highest level in hundreds of thousands of years.
Scientists have discovered that carbon dioxide levels have soared to the highest point in 800,000 years, an astonishing finding that shows just how deep the climate change problem has gotten. Carbon dioxide levels are now at 410 parts per million, when before the industrial revolution it had never exceeded 300 parts per million.
Our continued consumption of fossil fuels drive the rise in CO2, says Scripps scientists Ralph Keeling, who has kept carbon dioxide measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory for decades along with his late father. In April, the average concentration of carbon dioxide worldwide was 410.31 parts per million, which is the first time ever in Mauna Loa history that Earth has exceed 410 parts per million.
Carbon dioxide results in global warming because it traps solar radiation, keeping it in the atmosphere when normally it would leak into space. Human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, produces an excess amount of carbon dioxide and it has been blamed by scientists for an alarming warming trend worldwide that will continue to worsen.
“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,” reads the statement from Scripps. “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.”