Global Carbon Dioxide levels set to reach all time high, latest Met Office research finds

Watch meteorologist discuss the increase of global CO2 levels on Good Morning Britain [Filmed 17th March 2021]

Earth has reached what is being called a gloomy milestone for the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere 417ppm (parts per million) a Met Office report revealed on 16th March 2021 (Read it here)

Measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii have revealed that CO2 concentrations have already been above this level (417ppm) on some days last year, and are expected to remain above this symbolic threshold for around three months.

CO2 levels fluctuate but will continue to rise in the coming months, peaking in May/June (as it does every year). In the northern hemisphere, spring and summer CO2 levels rise before falling away during the autumn and winter months. This is due to trees in leaf, absorbing Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. But the overall trend is rising and it's the rapid rate of this rising that is most concerning.

Have levels been this high before?

Earth last experienced 400ppm of CO2 around 4 million years ago. At this time, the average temperature was 2-4°C warmer than today, and the sea level was 10-25m higher

Imperial College London

You can read the full article here

This graph shows why

50% increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere since pre-industrial levels Credit: Source Met Office

The levels of CO2 (or the amount in our atmosphere) is at the side going up & the time along the bottom

278ppm was the level of CO2 during pre-industrial times around 1750, then humans embarked on the industrial revolution and began to emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere on large scales.

If we roll forward to 1986, the level of CO2 was 348ppm had risen by 25% from pre-industrial times. Then fast forward to the present day, the last few weeks to be exact the level of CO2 has reached 417ppm, this exact number is important and scientists have been watching closely as it's a 50% increase from pre-industrial times.

It took nearly 200 years to rise by 25% and now it has taken only 35 years to rise by 25%. Think about that, in my lifetime it has risen by 25% and the 25% before then was many generations of my family!

The problem is that the rise in CO2 almost exactly matches the rise in global temperatures and this warming is leading to more severe weather, loss of biodiversity and ecosystems and will increasingly impact all of us.

What next?

We must turn down the release of CO2 levels in the atmosphere, to reduce it's impacts on climate change Credit: Met Office

We need to stop levels from rising. Think of a bathtub. The level of water is like the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. The taps are what we are putting in, the CO2 emissions. We need to turn the taps down and stop it filling up as quickly and ideally turn them off altogether - by net zero and stop the level rising.

Huge commitments are being made by governments ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November, if you want to know how you can make a difference head to itv.com/footprint to find out more