Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High Despite Pandemic, Scripps Reports

Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory peaked for 2021 in May at a monthly average of 419 parts per million, the highest level since accurate measurements began 63 years ago, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego reported Monday.

Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling initiated on-site measurements of carbon dioxide atop the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1958. NOAA began measurements in 1974, and the two research institutions have made complementary, independent observations ever since.