Another new record high for global CO2 concentration
It's no surprise that the global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration reached a record high once again last month and continues to average about 50 percent higher than what it was before the Industrial Revolution.
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide act as a blanket in the atmosphere, allowing less heat to escape back to into space and trapping more heat closer to the surface.
Through the end of November 2023, the global concentration of CO2 was at 420.5 parts per million, according to the data recorded at the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
The only good news is that in recent years the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 has decreased slightly, but this is not nearly enough. However, breaking down by the most recent, full three decades, you can still see a steady increase. Time will tell whether or not the 2020's will break that streak. See image below.
According to the World Meteorological Society, about one-half of the carbon dioxide emissions remain in the atmosphere. About one-quarter of the emissions are absorbed by the world's oceans, and less than 30 percent are absorbed by land ecosystems.
Methane's concentrations continue to steadily increase, with a major source being the melting of permafrost and also agriculture. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, but its not nearly as abundant in the atmosphere compared to CO2.
The third most important greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, saw its highest year-on-year increase on record from 2021 to 2022.
Due to the long life of CO2 in the atmosphere, the temperature level already absorbed will very likely persist for several decades even if greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly reduced to net zero.Report a Typo