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Global Carbon Dioxide Levels set New Record

May 8, 2015
Environmental Protection

maunu loa NOAA observatoryGlobal carbon dioxide levels reached 400ppm in March, the first time this has happened since records began. The figures, released by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are seen by many experts as a significant milestone for global warming.

Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, admitted the latest results had not come as a surprise. “It was only a matter of time before we would average 400 parts per million globally,” he told CBS News. “We first reported 400ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400ppm threshold. Reaching 400ppm as a global average is a significant milestone.”

Latest readings show that the average growth rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 2012 to 2014 was 2.25ppm every year, making it the highest ever recorded over a period of three consecutive years. Observations are based on air samples taken from 40 sites around the world. The global average is expected to remain above 400ppm during the month of May, when natural cycles of decay and a stagnant period of plant growth (resulting in lower carbon uptake) add to the levels in the atmosphere.

The new figures come after 2014 was judged to be the hottest on record, with the average global temperature across land and ocean surfaces measured as 0.690c above the 20th century average.

You can view the full data used by NOAA HERE