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Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached record


Daily measurements of CO2 at the definitive "Keeling lab" on Hawaii have topped 400 parts per million for the first time.

The last time CO2 was regularly above 400ppm was about 3-5 million years ago - prior to modern-day people existed. The environment in the past was likewise significantly warmer than it is today, according to researchers.

The station, which sits atop the Mauna Loa volcano, has the lengthiest continuous measure of the concentration of the gas, extending back to 1958. Co2 is considered the most vital of the man made greenhouse gases, an product of burning nonrenewable fuel sources such as coal, gas and oil.

In 1958 the concentration on Mauna Loa was around 315ppm, this means 315 molecules of CO2 for each one million molecules in the air. Every year ever since, the "Keeling Curve", as it has actually become known, has risen resolutely higher.

The usual trend seen at the volcano is for the CO2 concentration to increase in winter months then to withdraw as the northern hemisphere growing season kicks in and pulls a few of the gas out of the setting. This implies the number can be expected to decrease by a few ppm below 400 in the coming weeks.

The long-term trend is upwards. To determine CO2 levels prior to the intro of modern-day stations, researchers should make use of supposed proxy dimensions. These consist of researching the bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice. One of these can be made use of to describe CO2 levels over the past 800,000 years. It shows that CO2 held steady over this longer duration at between 200ppm and 300ppm.

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