According to a new NOAA analysis, the average global carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have broken the monthly record for the first time.
The record surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) in March 2015.
Pieter Tans, the lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network said, “It was only a matter of time that we would average 400 parts per million globally.”
Tans added in his statement;
“We first reported 400 ppm 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 400 ppm threshold. Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone.This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times,” he added. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”
The NOAA based their estimate on 40 global sites including those on shores of remote islands.
Ed Dlugonkencky, the NOAA scientist who manages the global network noted;
“We choose to sample at these sites because the atmosphere itself serves to average out gas concentrations that are being affected by human and natural forces. At these remote sites we get a better global average.”
The NOAA works all around the world to make sustained measurements of atmospheric gases such as greenhouse gases.
The data collected is used to assist us in having a better understanding of climate change so we can make informed decisions for the future.
James Butler, director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, added;
“Elimination of about 80 percent of fossil fuel emissions would essentially stop the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but concentrations of carbon dioxide would not start decreasing until even further reductions are made and then it would only do so slowly.”
If there is not a solution discovered to reduce the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, there could be an increase number of record-breaking months in the future.