400 ppm? If Only! Carbon Dioxide Increase Reached Record High in 2015
Back in February 2013, I asked, “Is This the Year CO2 hits 400 PPM?” It wasn’t, quite: atmospheric carbon dioxide in the gold-standard record from atop Mauna Loa, Hawaii first hit 400 parts per million in April 2014, two years ago.
We might wish wistfully for 400 ppm CO2 these days. In each of the last two months, the carbon dioxide level has hit a record high, with March 2016’s carbon dioxide level standing at 404.83 parts per million.
If that’s not bad enough, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data reveal that CO2 levels in the atmosphere aren’t only going up; the rate by which they’re going up is accelerating. In 1960, atmospheric carbon dioxide was increasing at a rate of 0.54 ppm/year. By 2015, atmospheric CO2 was increasing at a rate of 3.05 ppm/year. That’s a record high rate:
When a sprinter surpasses the old rate for a mile run, we cheer. Nobody should be cheering this new environmental world record.