Based on geological data gathered over the six decades that scientists have been measuring atmospheric CO2, this year’s peak seems to be the greatest in up to 4.5 million years.
Geological data reveal the three centuries ago, before the industrial civilization began, there were 280 CO2 molecules for every million molecules of air.
The amount of CO2 measured in PPM (Parts Per Million) shot up to 316 PPM back in the late 1950’s. Since then, it has climbed upwards to 419 PPM.
In other words, by burning fossil fuels in generators and automobiles, humanity has raised concentrations of the most significant greenhouse gas by 50%.
Researchers projected as early as April 2020 that pandemic-related economic disruptions that substantially lowered emissions will have almost little influence on CO2 trajectory.
The May average increased by 1.8 ppm over May 2020, which was somewhat less than the yearly growth rate in 2017 and 2011.
CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere change year to year, averaging around 2.5 ppm each year from 2010 to 2019.
The figures are influenced not just by pollution, but also by changes in the rate at which seas and plants absorb CO2.
The atmospheric concentration has a seasonal cycle, with a high in May when plants in the Northern Hemisphere (where the majority of them reside) begin to take CO2 into tissue.