Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Hits Record High Monthly Average

April monthly average exceeds 410 parts per million for the first time in recorded history

The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 410.31 parts per million (ppm) for the month of April, according to the Keeling Curve measurement series made at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

This marks the first time in the history of the Mauna Loa record that a monthly average has exceeded 410 parts per million. This also represents a 30-percent increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the global atmosphere since the Keeling Curve began in 1958. In March, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego observed the 60th anniversary of the data series, the first measurements of which were 315 ppm.

The Keeling Curve draws its name from its creator and the shape of its dataset, a seasonally seesawing trend of steadily rising CO2 readings that exceeded 400 ppm in air for the first time in human history in 2013. Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, CO2  levels had fluctuated over the millennia but had never exceeded 300 ppm at any point in the last 800,000 years.

Carbon dioxide is called a greenhouse gas for its ability to trap solar radiation and keep it confined to the atmosphere. It is the most prevalent among all greenhouse gases produced by human activities, attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.

The Scripps CO2 Program is directed by geochemist Ralph Keeling,the son of the late Keeling Curve creator Charles David Keeling

“We keep burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide keeps building up in the air,” said Ralph Keeling. “It’s essentially as simple as that.”


69 thoughts on “Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Hits Record High Monthly Average”

    1. You need to share your measurements because all the scientific equipment shows it has!

      1. Clearly, over 60 years of recording, it’s totally appropriate to blame this on Trump and his supporters, and call out his name for some unrelated, inexplicable, and completely un-scientific reason, except for bigotry and hatred. No other explanation, really.

        Because CO2 levels were totally fine under Clinton and Obama, right? And which countries are responsible for most of the CO2 output? Clearly the US, and only under Trump.

        1. Obama had the sense and intelligence to acknowledge the scientific evidence and act to try to reduce emissions. Trump and his corporate backers do not. Yes, under Trump any policies to mitigate environmental harm are being reversed.”or the profit of the few and screw the many” his real motto. No other explanation, really.

        2. It seems you’d like a “Trump like response”, I can give you one:


        3. Obama was very aware of the rising CO2 levels and signed on with the World to the Paris Agreement attempting to slow CO2 release . I sure do not blame Trump for the mess the World is in. He is trying to make things better.

      1. And I can show you many articles that show global temperatures are perfectly normal when compared to historical trends. I can also show you articles which show global cooling. And I have many articles bookmarked that list incidents of data tampering and antimidation of global warming skeptic scientists.

        1. Wow, Jeff55v, what an impressive rebuttal. You tell us you can provide data sets to the contrary but don’t actually do so. Where did you acquire your argumentation skills?

    2. Argue that with British thermometers, which has been reading ocean and air temps for 150 years.

      Royal Navy >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Doofus.

    3. They are not talking about temperature, you idiot. They are talking about parts per million of carbon dioxide.

      Also, you need a comma after the word “up” to separate your statement from your insult. Learn basic grammar as well as how to read!

    4. Yes they have, don’t believe this fool. Facts (true records) speak for themselves

    5. Yes they have FOOL. Average annual temperatures continue to climb. Obviously there is variation but over long periods of time, you can see an upward trend. And 2 degrees may not make a difference in your neighborhood and daily life, but it makes a huge difference at the poles going from 32 to 34 degrees. Hope you don’t live in Miami or New Orleans.

    6. Hi Shell/BP/Chevron, keep on spreading that anti-science propaganda. You have to pay your bills somehow.

    7. think plant life will love it, grow more food . Your right Dean. Now they call it Climate change cause it has not gone up.

      1. more plants more oxygen for us to breath. where are all these monitoring equipment. there are not many check it out. all made up. the earth changes all the time evan before humans

    8. Which temperatures? The global temperatures have indeed changed. The amount of increase varies by location–some locations are holding relatively steady. But, when you average the global temperatures, they have indeed gone up. If you have different data that supports this claim, show it and give a source.

  1. Global warming is real, all we have to do is look at the recurrence of 100 year storms every few years, and the storms getting more violent with all the added energy from global warming. Also the wild fires, not to mention the melting of glaciers, such as in Glacier National Park.

  2. Who cares about temperatures at this point. High levels of CO2 impedes our nervous system. The whole population is getting more stressed out, more paranoid, more depressed, because of it. No way will life a we know it adapt quickly enough for this change of the atmosphere. Just wait until CO2 ppm reaches 800 ppm, you won’t be breathing.

    1. Wow. You know that OSHA doesn’t consider CO2 harmful to humans until it reaches 5,000 ppm, right? You must be confusing carbon monoxide with carbon dioxide.

  3. Temperatures have gone up in many places and there are many significant indicators in the ocean, atmosphere, and land that indicate that those who remark that “temps have not gone up” are like ostrich with head in sand. “If I can’t see it, I am safe”.

    1. Um, the top of Mauna Loa (which is a dormant volcano, you idiot!) is one of the locations on the planet where the CO2 levels are (1) the LOWEST; (2) easy to measure. CO2 fluctuates in the lowlands and cities due to the amount of fossil fuel being burned by cars and industry, so the reading would not be as accurate as it is on the top of a mountain with relatively stable air concentrations.

      1. Neither Mauna Loa, nor Mauna Kea (the other tall mountain, with telescopes on top) are dormant, although Mauna Kea isn’t very active any more. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984, which is very recent in terms of its million year age.

        1. And it’s over 14,000 ft high; the only Pacific Island North of the Equator with snow on top much of the year! Although some near Japan and Russia maybe as high.

    2. I would assume the measurements are done on the upwind side of the prevailing winds. The air that reaches Hawaii has been crossing the Pacific for thousands of miles, so it is not affected by local sources, like a forest fire or coal plant.

  4. Never mind the politics. People will believe anything if it gives them comfort. Blame it on God, Trump or some other BS salesman but the threat is real and solutions need to be enacted. Reduction of production is one aspect but planting a tree is something anyone can do. It’s a small step but the Great Wall started as one brick. Think of an do solutions. Debate just moves around the hot air.

  5. Actually, temps have barely gone up even co2 shot way past the “max” of 350 parts per million to 410/1,000,000.

    The climate is way more complex then just one variable…looks like co2 increases temps about 1/4 to 1/3 of what was predicted.

    Don’t worry we will adapt and China and India are doing most of the co2 increases now anyway…

  6. not warming ? who ever thinks its not warming must have a hole in there head and are most likely just ignoring the reality of what’s coming sooner than they think. mainly because its being left for the future to deal with. what I see happening is the ring of fire is getting more and more active just from the few degree difference now. as I see it the future is going to be forced into another ice age. with no oil left to survive on everything will be spent. this will happen after they have to deal with all the flooding etc. and a lot of different scenarios will play out. as I see now winter will skip all over the globe in never before seen ways from the total insatiability winter one day summer the next. fronts will go haywire. all in the name of human global competition.

  7. There is nothing gained by accepting comments. Update the ux pls. We visit your site for facts not to engage with trolls.

  8. This is not a political issue is world damage been done knowing that it will damage have damage and will kill our planet but still the vanity first, then been so intelligent like they claim but your pride and comfort comes frist. Well what shame on people who really don’t care about nothing but greed ,and more money like monkey with all the bananas good luck Fox’s. Kill the human race go with right ahead. Anyway is all written all ready.

  9. CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas. The oceans are by far the largest producer of CO2 gas. The second greatest producer of CO2 is natural decay of vegetation. Oh by the way, water vapor is also a “greenhouse” gas. And actually, water vapor has a much greater impact on temperatures than CO2 when compared ppm.

  10. what is killing the coral reefs. our natural filters in the sea’s is an over abundance of CO2 causing bleaching. water it self dose not contain CO2 or emit it. maybe what comes from the earth itself passes through water I dont know were you get that one jeff55 ! sadly. I have seen and I am sure you have to once towering trees as old as about 4 generations of our life’s. cut and loaded going down the highway’s on to flat bed diesel trailers like they are nothing but profit. they are as tall as could ever be. those tree’s specifically or what left of them. are what’s keeping the ceiling of poison’s in the upper most air stream’s as far as they reach out helping clean our air. but that ceiling is dropping .if not already mixing. as I think it is.. its soon to be closer to our altitudes. if they keep robing all the biggest trees for greed its dooms day much sooner than they think guaranteed ! just planting new trees wont be of any help fast enough. before they are poisoned to. TIME IS A WASTING people ! greed and money makers dont care ! its a bad mix for a decent world !

    1. kg: You are on the right track, when CO2 mixes with water it becomes ACID, and that is killing the reefs and many other organisms. I do share your concern about the voracious logging, however that’s a HUGE subject.
      I recommend you look over your comments before posting or others will be stupid enough to trash you.

  11. OMG, it appears Ripley was right: IQs have dropped sharply!
    The only person with a clue is the guy who wrote the first one.
    It is not warming, much…if at all.
    But it would be good if it did: We are in an ice age!
    Parts of the planet are permanently frozen to deadly cold temperatures.
    Huge amounts are cold enough to kill an unprotected person for nearly half the year.
    It is colder and CO2 is lower than for almost the entire history of the planet!
    Cold kills!
    Warmth is life.
    How and why can anyone think something is true just because someone else said it?
    Use your brain.
    If you do not know an obvious lie when you hear it, you are too dumb to matter.

  12. Actually no, it isn’t really “as simple as that”. But never mind.
    Let’s go ahead and destroy the economies of the industrialized world, even though that will have no discernible effect on the world’s climate, weather, or natural disasters. At least we can then say we’re “doing something”.
    But then what?

  13. “April monthly average exceeds 410 parts per million for the first time in recorded history.”

    Well, duh!

    Seems to me that the “monthly average” has exceeded some level of ppm in at least one month each year for the past 50 YEARS.

    So, why is this news?

  14. So far very few of the above comments reflect a true understanding of the climate. One person thinks 800 ppm CO2 is harmful to breathe. They might be surprised to learn that submariners and astronauts routinely breathe 4000 to 8000 ppm. One guy thinks that there has been no warming yet 20,000 yrs ago 2/3 of North America was covered in an ice sheet which suddenly melted, in geologic time scales that is sudden , with no help from hairless apes. So yes, that was an example of what global warming really is and continues today at very nearly the same rate.
    Yes, CO2 is around 410 ppm highest in 800K yrs but incredibly low compared to previous epochs when plant life was abundant and dinosaurs roamed in an atmosphere with 2000 ppm CO2 and tropical temperatures were slightly warmer than today and no run away global warming. Dinosaurs lived on a planet where most of the land mass was concentrated around the equatorial regions and there is no evidence to suggest that the polar regions were not just as cold as they are today. Discoveries of tropical species of plants in Antarctica is only proof of continental drift, not that the poles were hot in Dinosaur times. Water vapor is by far the most abundant and most dominant green house gas on our water planet and massive expanses of coral reefs dwarfing anything we see today grew in the ancient shallow seas between the equitorial continents when CO2 was 2000 ppm and tropical temperatures were a bit warmer than today with no “coral bleaching”, another exaggerated worry. The earth is greening as a result of higher CO2 and that is quite beneficial and the inexorable natural warming trend is much to be preferring than a life killing cooling trend.

    1. Yeah…I read that stuff thirty years ago. You miss the problems associated with runaway temps. Cold we can deal with, heat we can’t. The last ice ages did not cover the whole planet; while runaway greenhouse will damage the entire ecosphere.

    2. At least someone is looking at the bigger picture. Most people are so myopic they can’t see beyond their own generation.

      Coral thrive in a warm water environment, by the way. It isn’t the temperature of the ocean that is causing “bleaching.” It is the acidity of the water that is killing the coral.

      You are absolutely right about water vapor. The reason it is never mentioned is because it can’t be regulating or taxed. You have to understand that Marxists use Climate Change as a vehicle to push their redistribution of wealth agenda. If it doesn’t involve expanding the size and scope of government and imposing draconian carbon taxes, then they are not interested.

  15. Dean… wake up buddy… Dean?… Dean! Somebody call 911! Anybody?! We need some naloxone here….

  16. How much CO2 is released by beer, champagne and soda drinks per year?
    BTW, how can an oil or coal company decrease CO2 emissions? Just stop mining it?
    This endless debate is rubbish; full of vague generalisations, sweeping statements with no substance, no data except 410 ppm CO2. No mention of water vapour’s effect on heat retention. Just what are you trying to sell me?

  17. I am very pleased to see that the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego included how long they have been keeping records. That is an important piece of information to know when making claims of “hits record high…” It puts everything into perspective.

    In the 60 years of recording keeping CO2 levels have not been as high as they are today. Naturally they make no statement on CO2 levels prior to their record keeping 60 years ago. When taking into consideration the 4.567 billion years that they have not been recording CO2 levels, the 60 years they have been recording CO2 levels seems rather trivial, and not very informative. A classic case of cherry-picked data.

    How do we know that this “60-year record high” is not part of a 500-year, or 1,000-year low period and what they recorded as a high was actually well below normal? After all, CO2 levels below 500 ppm have not been very common for the majority of Earth’s history. The last time CO2 levels were this low, or lower, was during the Permian extinction event between 270 and 250 million years ago that almost wiped out all life on the planet.

  18. C02 is a life giving gas and a LOW in concentration compared to the geological record.A cold barren lifeless Earth isnt a good idea.Ask the Arctic dinosaurs what they thought of low C02 concentrations and a cold barren North.It takes a level of psychosis to call things like sunlight and water and oxygen and C02 “pollutants” and in the meanwhile ignoring REAL pollution that will kill you.Imagine thinking the nearby cosmos and the Sun dont control the “solar” systems climates..even controlling the seas of “fossil” fuel Methane on Titan:)

  19. I am amazed at the degree of vitriol being expressed especially by those who believe the CO2 as climate driver hypothesis. What it tells me is the belief is emotionally rooted and is largely ideological which means it isn’t rooted in knowledge of science. When it comes to AGW there is, what I call the herd mentality, where because they have heard it so often and so many others believe it, they too believe it. The hysteria is fueled by propaganda in the mainstream such as the report this past Feb/2018 about the 45*C warming spoke in the Arctic that occurred one day. “Tropical” was a word used to describe it. What none of the mainstream reported was the temperature moved from -52*C to -7*C, well below freezing and hardly justified the false descriptor of “tropical” and at -7* ice was not melting.

    The reality is that mainstream has not reported on is that thousands upon thousands of cold record temperatures have been broken globally and hundreds of these are century old record. April is reported as the 7th coldest April on record in the US, crops are being destroyed around the world not by record heat but by freezing and long cold winters or flooding. Yes some places are seeing warmer temps and droughts, but it is the freezing that is destroying crops globally. Every grain growing region in the world is seeing significant reductions due to late plantings. Food prices will be spiking dramatically later this years. How about the tens of thousands of cattle that froze to death in Texas a few days ago, the 48000 people who died this past winter in England due to the severity of the cold?

    Graphs and facts and statistics can be manipulated and as such are in question when source data is not released along with it. A scientific hypothesis’s strength is based on the models based on it to predict future trends and all IPCC predictions have failed from 90-300%. A big problem with these models is that they cannot calculate for a non-linear system such as the ocean and so it is often ignored. And then there is the sun.
    Climate is cyclical, CO2 levels have been much higher in the distant past and though it is a greenhouse gas, it is water vapour that produces most of the greenhouse effect. I do not see global warming, I see the opposite, regardless of the what the government agents say. Governments lie, they are corrupt and frankly it is naive to put too much faith in them, especially the UN. Al Gore makes $50,000,000.00/year trading carbon credits which is a trillion dollar industry.

    My prediction is that next winter the world is going to see some severely cold weather that it has not experienced since the Thames froze over. Eventually the cold will level out, but it will be here for decades to come. It is a Grand Solar Minimum just like when the Thames froze over. My question for you is; how many more long cold winters will it take for you to realize they lied about CO2?

    Global warming was never the threat that global cooling is.

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