Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Record Atmospheric CO2 Concentration April 2010: 392.39ppm


Just like last month, a record was set in April 2010.  Just like last month, the corporate media was absolutely silent about it.  Cons like to whine about how liberal the media is.  Don’t you think if the media had a liberal slant, they wouldn’t hesitate to trumpet rising CO2 concentrations?

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured at Mauna Loa, Hawai’i were the highest for a single calendar month in our history: 392.39ppm.

Monthly data for the past four years and the entire 52-year dataset can be found at NOAA’s ESRL Trends website.

The change from April 2009 to April 2010 was 2.93ppm, one of the largest jumps for the same month from one year to the next in the observations.

It should come as no surprise that record CO2 concentrations year after year have helped lead to the warmest March on record (March 2010), the 2nd warmest year on record (2009) and the warmest decade on record (the 2000s).  This year should be another one of the warmest, if not the warmest, on record due to various states of climatological cycles (El Nino, NAO, etc).

Keep in mind, however, that we’re also currently just coming out of the longest solar minimum in the past century.  Climate change deniers like to say that the solar cycle still controls most of the year-to-year variation seen in our climate.  If the 2nd warmest year on record occurred during a solar minimum, what do they think will happen in the next 5 years?  Those record CO2 concentrations are starting to take over as a leading factor in the climate.  That won’t change until the concentrations are forced back under 350ppm.


3 thoughts on “Record Atmospheric CO2 Concentration April 2010: 392.39ppm

  1. I’m not sure we can conclude that the media does not have a liberal slant because they did not cover the results of a test measuring atmospheric concentrations of C02 in Hawaii. However, I will concede that the test results are newsworthy.

    One thing that is currently interesting to me is the potential for (direct and indirect) off-sets due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. At least one global warming engineer has noted a decrease in 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 just from 5 days worth of air travel reductions.

  2. You’re correct – that conclusion cannot be made from this particular instance only by itself. I made the comment as a part of a larger narrative that I’ve developed. To be even clearer, even the portions of the media that do have a liberal slant have not covered this particular item.

    Perhaps an additional larger narrative then is the issue continues to suffer from a lack of attention from most segments of society – something that grows increasingly dangerous every year it happens. I for one think this item is newsworthy, and am glad you think so as well. It should be a nonpartisan issue, after all.

    The reduction in air traffic would indeed result in a decrease in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Thinking about it a little bit more, I would think the most of the reduction is probably temporary. Most people would still “have to travel”, which would shift their emissions in time, wouldn’t it?

  3. why can’t you idiots have a graph of co2 ppm since 1880

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