July 12, 2024

Mauna Loa Hawaii Measurement Series – New Highs in Carbon Dioxide Concentration Reached – Meteo

Mauna Loa Hawaii Measurement Series – New Highs in Carbon Dioxide Concentration Reached – Meteo

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is according to Measure Mauna Loa, Hawaii this spring is higher than at any time since measurements began. In April, the measurement reached new highs. For example, on April 28, 2023, a carbon dioxide concentration of 425.01 ppm was measured. Measurements in April exceed values ​​from previous years. Since the beginning of industrialization, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by more than 50%, and the trend is on the rise.

Maximum values ​​are always in the spring

It is no coincidence that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reaches a new high in spring. The high for a given year is always reached in the spring, and the low in the fall. This is why there is a typical wave-like trajectory in the long-term series of measurements from Mauna Loa.

This annual trajectory of carbon dioxide concentration is caused by vegetation – more precisely, vegetation in the northern hemisphere. The Northern Hemisphere contains more continents or more land area than the Southern Hemisphere, and therefore more vegetation than the Southern Hemisphere. In the summer, vegetation absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide and, quite simply, builds it up in leaves, branches and trunks. So the concentration of carbon dioxide decreases to a minimum in the fall. And in the winter, while the plants are dormant, carbon dioxide is not taken up from the atmosphere. Even the vegetation releases carbon dioxide again and so the concentration of carbon dioxide rises again to a maximum in the spring.

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Why is CO₂ measured on Mauna Loa?

Measurement of carbon dioxide on Mauna Loa at 3,390 meters has been around for over 60 years, since 1958 to be exact. The advantage of the measurement location is that the station is far from civilization and can therefore be measured relatively undisturbed. From a civilization perspective, for example, exhaust gases from combustion engines interfere with scaling. At most, volcanic discharge disturbs Mauna Loa, but it can be read from the data and corrected.

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Volcanic gases, such as during Mauna Loa’s last eruption in November 2022, can be easily read from the data and corrected.

Reuters/GoNakamura

Carbon dioxide is one of the most important greenhouse gases and the main driver of global warming. Consequently According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is now scientifically indisputable that the increase in temperature since industrialization is clearly linked to an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – primarily to an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide due to human use of fossil fuels. The increase in the global average temperature cannot be explained solely by natural factors.