Carbon Dioxide: The Facts


Carbon Dioxide


401.58 ppm

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions.

Chart 1
This shows atmospheric CO2 levels in recent years, with average seasonal cycle removed.

Chart 2
This shows CO2 levels during the last three glacial cycles, as reconstructed from ice cores.

Time Series
This shows global distribution and variation of the concentration of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide in parts per million (ppm). The overall color of the map shifts toward the red with advancing time due to the annual increase of CO2.

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