Carbon dioxide hits record high level

Carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere was measured at a record high of 415 parts per millions (ppm) on Friday, scientists said.

The reading was made by the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which has maintained a rolling measure of CO2 levels since 1958.

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Ralph Keeling, director of Scripps CO2 Program at the observatory, said that the carbon dioxide "growth rate is remaining at the high end."

“The average growth rate is remaining on the high end. The increase from last year will probably be around three parts per million whereas the recent average has been 2.5 ppm," Keeling said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"Likely we’re seeing the effect of mild El Niño conditions on top of ongoing fossil fuel use."

Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and writer at Grist, tweeted that "we don't know a planet like this."

"This is the first time in human history our planet's atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2," he wrote of Friday's measurement.

"Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago." 

Although CO2 levels millions of years ago were higher than in 2019, in the 800,000 years before the Industrial Revolution CO2 levels didn't surpass 300 ppm, USA Today noted.

The scientific consensus is that CO2 emitted from human activity is most responsible for global climate change.