Last month brought the highest level of atmospheric CO2 concentrations ever recorded at 417 parts per million, per new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Why it matters: Measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii show that while emissions have recently fallen due to the pandemic, it's not something that really changes the overall picture of ongoing buildup.
What they're saying: "[T]he buildup of CO2 is a bit like trash in a landfill. As we keep emitting, it keeps piling up," said geochemist Ralph Keeling of Scripps Institution of Oceanography in a statement alongside the data.
- "The crisis has slowed emissions, but not enough to show up perceptibly at Mauna Loa. What will matter much more is the trajectory we take coming out of this situation," he said.