The world has just passed the highest level of CO2 in the atmosphere for 4 million years!

The level of carbon dioxide in L’atmosphere (CO2) has again reached a historic peak, but this time it is squarely at the level of that present 4 million years ago! Hawaii Observatory Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory measured a rate of 420.99 ppm last May (against 280 before the Industrial Revolution), results confirmed by the Research Institute Scripps Oceanography. The previous record was 419.13 ppm in May 2021followed by 416.21 ppm in May 2020.

The rise in CO2 levels from 1960 to 2022. © NOAA

The May 2022 rate represents the highest concentration of CO2 noted throughout the History of Humanity: this is equivalent to that found in Pliocene (therefore without human beings), i.e. between 4.1 and 4.5 million years ago. During the period of climatic optimum, the rate of CO2 fluctuated around 400 ppm and the climate was quite different: +3.9°C compared to pre-industrial levels (we are currently at +1.2°C) with a sea level higher by 5 to 25 meters. According to NOAAif nothing is done to slow this rise caused by human activity, this extreme climate of the past could well be what we are heading towards.

Leave a Comment