Carbon Dioxide Levels In The Atmosphere Reach New Record

Posted: May 5 2018, 7:08pm CDT | by , Updated: May 6 2018, 12:59am CDT, in Latest Science News

 

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Carbon Dioxide Levels in Atmosphere Reach New Record
Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The average carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 410.31 ppm for the month of April, which is the highest in recorded history

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has hit a new high. According to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the average carbon dioxide level was 410.31 parts per million (ppm) last month. This is the highest concentration of carbon ever recorded and also represents a dramatic 30 percent increase in the gas since the Keeling Curve began in 1958. The iconic graph already indicates that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are increasing at a faster rate each year.

“At the recent pace, we'll hit 450 ppm in a mere 16 years, and 500 ppm 20 years after that. That's well within the dangerous territory for the climate system.” Ralph Keeling, who is the head of the Scripps CO2 program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in a statement.

Ralph Keeling is the son of the scientist, Charles David Keeling. Keeling began to measure the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere in 1953. He was also the creator of Keeling Curve. Since 1958, the family has been keeping a continuous record of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the help of Mauna Loa Observatory and the very first measurements made here were 315 ppm.

Carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas that plays the biggest role in global warming. It traps radiation from the sun and warms our ocean and atmosphere. The production of carbon dioxide is mostly attributed to human activities. When fossil fuels such as oil and coal are burned, carbon dioxide is emitted. As the gas rises in the atmosphere, it traps heat as part of a process called greenhouse effect. The increasing temperature associated with greenhouse effect contributes to ice melting and sea level rise

“We keep burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide keeps building up in the air,” said Ralph Keeling. “It’s essentially as simple as that.”

Greenhouse gases are measured in parts per million of carbon dioxide and they have drastically increased since the start of Industrial Revolution. Prior to the 18th century, carbon levels fluctuated over the millennia but never exceeded 300 ppm in the last 800,000 years.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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