Carbon dioxide levels are reaching record highs despite the 2020 blockade, Science News

If you thought the coronavirus lock had a huge positive impact on the climate, scientists have bad news for you. According to the latest measurements, carbon dioxide concentrations hit record levels during the pandemic.

According to the latest measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, global carbon dioxide levels have risen alarmingly and are almost 50 per cent higher than when the industrial revolutions began in the UK.

Setting a new record, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in March were nearly 417.14 parts per million (ppm), according to data released by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.

And not only that, the British Met Office also predicted that monthly carbon dioxide concentrations would peak in 2021 at almost 419.5 ppm, increasing from 417.10 ppm in May 2020.

Authorities also warned that this year’s average forecast could be around 416.3 ppm, while the average for 2020 was 413.94 ppm.

The increase in carbon dioxide concentration is mainly caused by human activity such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels. Although locking in 2020 may have helped little, it was not enough to stop the significant effect of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere.

“Emissions may have been reduced, but we are still emitting a lot of carbon dioxide, so its atmospheric concentration will certainly rise – and it will do so until we get somewhere to net zero,” prof. Martin Siegert, of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, told The Guardian.

“Our path to zero network is obvious, challenging and necessary – and we must urgently continue the transition.