Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

January 2010: 5th Highest CO2 Concentrations

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In January 2010, the 5th highest CO2 concentrations in recorded history were recorded: 388.63ppm.  This value was higher than any recorded in all of 2008.  Only four months in 2009 saw higher values: March through June.  Monthly averages of atmospheric CO2 concentrations are released by NOAA.

The long-term time series of CO2 concentrations can be found at NOAA’s Climate Services website.  The values oscillate each year as vegetation cycles take place in both hemispheres.   Each year’s minimum is typically reached in October; the maxima occur in May.

A shorter time series plot can be found at this NOAA website.

You can see the first value ever measured at Mauna Loa, HI at the links: 315.71 back in March 1958.  73ppm CO2 have been added to the atmosphere in the past 52 years.  That must change.

It is no mere coincidence that annual global temperatures in the 2000’s were higher than any prior decade, nor was it coincidence that 2009 witnessed 0.55C higher temperatures than the 20th century average.  Each year, it is likelier than the previous year that higher temperatures will be recorded.

Until we decrease our greenhouse gas pollution emissions; until we decrease CO2 concentrations, the planet will continue to warm.  Sea level will continue to rise.  We can change that scenario.  We must change that scenario.

Cross-posted at SquareState.

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