As measured at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, humans reached a new black record. The daily level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere reached a record value of 400 parts per million.
Above: A yearly level of CO2 in the atmosphere graph, going back to 1958. Credit NOAA
The “Keeling Curve,” the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide (CO2) record, is the world’s longest unbroken record of atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
This record, from the NOAA-operated Mauna Loa Observatory, on top of the big island of Hawaii, shows that carbon dioxide has been increasing steadily from values around 317 parts per million (ppm) when Charles D. Keeling began measurements in 1958, to nearly 400 ppm today. The highest value recorded in human history.
CO2 levels are rising faster than any time in human history, at least for the past 11,000 years.
Scientists make CO2 measurements in remote locations to obtain air that is representative of a large volume of Earth’s atmosphere and relatively free from local influences that could skew readings. The quality of data is verified before daily average values are determined.