Fastest carbon dioxide rise in peak year

NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Base Laboratory in Hawaii is a site that takes continuous measurements of carbon dioxide. CO2 peaked at a monthly average of 426.9 parts per million in May 2024, establishing another high in the 66-year record of observations at the Hawaiian volcano. Photo by Susan Cope/ NOAA Research.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) originally published this article on June 6, 2024. Earthsky’s revisions.

The two-year increase in carbon dioxide peaks is the largest on record

NOAA and scientists Scripps Institution of Oceanography In San Diego on June 6, 2024, it announced that carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere faster than ever before. It is accelerating at a steeper rate than any experienced during human existence, they said.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels measured by NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Base Laboratory reached a seasonal peak of 427 parts per million (426.90 ppm) in May 2024. It reached its maximum CO2 level in May 2024. Northern Hemisphere. This is a 2.9 ppm increase over May 2023 and the 5th largest annual increase in NOAA’s 50-year record. Combined with 2023’s 3.0 ppm increase, the 2022 to 2024 period saw the largest two-year increase in the May peak on NOAA record.

Carbon dioxide measurements are sending ominous signals

Scientists at Scripps, an independent record-keeping organization that began CO2 monitoring at Mauna Loa in 1958, calculated a May average of 426.7 ppm for 2024, an increase of 2.92 ppm over the May 2023 measurement of 423.78 ppm. For Scripps, the two-year jump tied the previous record set in 2020.

From January to April, NOAA and Scripps scientists say CO2 concentrations rose faster than in the first four months of any other year. Although considered a high rise has come International Report It found that fossil fuel emissions, a major driver of climate change, have plateaued in recent years. NOAA Admin Rick Spinrad said:

In the past year, we’ve experienced the hottest year on record, the hottest ocean temperatures, endless heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires and storms.

Now we find that CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing faster than ever before. We need to recognize that carbon dioxide pollution is a clear signal of the damage it is doing to the climate system, and we need to take swift action to reduce fossil fuel use as quickly as we can.

Ralph KeelingThe director of the Scripps CO2 Program, which manages the company’s 56-year-old measurement series, noted that the year-over-year increase recorded in March 2024 was the highest for both Scripps and NOAA. Keeling curve History. he said:

Not only is CO2 now at its highest level in millions of years, it is increasing faster than ever.

Every year the burning of fossil fuels reaches a higher maximum, which releases pollution in the form of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Fossil fuel pollution continues to increase, as does landfill waste.

Like a big warm blanket

Like other greenhouse gases, CO2 acts like a blanket in the atmosphere, preventing the heat emitted from the planet’s surface from escaping into space. The A warming atmosphere Fuels extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and wildfires, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding. About half of the carbon dioxide that humans emit into the air remains in the atmosphere. The other half is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. roughly equally divided between land and sea.

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He said the two-year growth rate seen from 2022 to 2024 could be the result of sustained high fossil fuel emissions combined with El Niño conditions that limit the ability of global land ecosystems to absorb atmospheric CO2. John Miller, a carbon cycle scientist with NOAA’s Global Observing Laboratory. Absorption of CO2 changes ocean chemistry, leading to ocean acidification and interfering with the growth of some marine organisms.

A long-term scientific partnership

For most of the past half century, continuous daily sampling by both NOAA and Scripps at Mauna Loa provided the best basis for establishing long-term trends. In 2023, some measurements were obtained from a Temporary sampling site At the top of the nearby Mauna Kea volcano, established after lava flow cut off access to the Mauna Loa Observatory in November 2022, and with the access road still buried beneath the volcano, staff maintain NOAA once a week via helicopter and Scripps in-situ CO2 analyzers that provide continuous CO2 measurements.

Scripps Geologist Charles David Keeling Began field measurements of CO2 at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Weather Station in 1958. Keeling first found that CO2 levels in the Northern Hemisphere fell during the growing season and rose as plants died in the fall. He documented these CO2 fluctuations in a record known as the Keeling curve. He was the first to recognize that in addition to seasonal fluctuations, CO2 levels are rising each year.

NOAA climate scientist Peter Dance It led NOAA’s effort to begin its own measurements in 1974, and the two research organizations have made complementary, independent observations ever since.

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Although the Mauna Loa Observatory is considered the main climate observatory for the Northern Hemisphere, it does not capture changes in CO2 globally. NOAA’s globally distributed sampling network provides this broader picture, which is more consistent with the Mauna Loa results.

The Mauna Loa data, combined with measurements from sampling stations around the world, Global Greenhouse Gas Reference NetworkA fundamental research dataset for international climate scientists and a benchmark for policy makers trying to address the causes and impacts of climate change.

Bottom line: According to NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists, carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere faster than ever before.

via NOAA

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