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Home Science News Atmospheric CO2 and methane levels soar to record highs despite pandemic

Atmospheric CO2 and methane levels soar to record highs despite pandemic


Scientists have recorded a surprising rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane levels over 2020, seeming to contradict predictions that the pandemic would see a temporary slowdown in the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Research by United States government agency the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found average surface level atmospheric CO2 levels hit an all-time high of 412.5 parts per million (ppm), up 2.6 ppm on 2019 levels.

That was the fifth highest increase on record, after 1987, 1998, 2015 and 2016. Atmospheric CO2 levels are now the highest they have been for 3.6 million years. Back then sea levels were 24 metres higher than they are today, and the world was about 4 degrees…



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