Atmospheric CO2 up by 50% higher than pre-industrial level

Carbon dioxide levels as measured from atop a Hawaiian volcano continued their record-breaking rise in 2023, hitting a level that is 50 percent higher than at the start of the industrial age, U.S. scientists revealed on Monday.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, CO2 at the Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory hit 424 parts per million in May, up 3 ppm from the previous year.

NOAA’s average measurement came in at 424.0 ppm, while Scripps, which maintains an independent record, showed an average in May of 423.78 ppm.

“What we’d like to see is the curve plateauing and even falling because carbon dioxide as high as 420 or 425 parts per million is not good, it shows that as much as we’ve done to mitigate and reduce emissions, we still have a long way to go,” said Ralph Keeling, the principal investigator for the Atmospheric Oxygen Research Group at Scripps.

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