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Indicator : indicator-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-2020
Indicator: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
Key Points: The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased more than 20% in less than 40 years, owing largely to human activities, and representing well over 50% of the total increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the onset of the industrial revolution (1750). About the Indicator: Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat in the atmosphere. Increasing concentrations of these gases have driven an increase in global temperatures. The Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) shows that over the past decade, increases in carbon dioxide are responsible for about 84% of the increase in the heat-trapping capacity of the atmosphere. Although the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide fluctuates over seasonal cycles, as illustrated by the saw-tooth pattern in the graph, the overall trend has been a steady increase since data collection began. Global monthly average concentrations of carbon dioxide have risen from around 339 parts per million in 1980 (averaged over the year) to 410 parts per million in 2019, an increase of more than 20%. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Monitoring Division has measured carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for several decades through a globally distributed network of about 70 air sampling sites, including the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawai’i. The data for this indicator come from a subset of about 40 of these sites located in isolated regions of the ocean. Why it's Important: Carbon dioxide concentration is an important measure of how human activity has increased the heat-trapping capacity of the atmosphere. This indicator can inform carbon emissions policies at national and international levels.
ProvenanceThis report replaces Indicator: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
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