Unexpectedly Intriguing!
15 May 2024

The rate at which carbon dioxide is increasing in the Earth's atmosphere stalled during April 2024.

That pace is defined by the trailing twelve month average of the year-over-year change in the concentration of CO₂ in the air as measured at the remote Mauna Kea Observatory. The following chart shows how that measure has evolved from January 2000 through April 2024:

Trailing Twelve Month Average Year-Over-Year Change in Parts per Million of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, January 2000 - April 2024

This change coincides with the anniversary of a surge of carbon dioxide being added to the Earth's atmosphere in early 2023. That surge followed China's lifting of its zero-COVID lockdown policies in December 2022.

A year later, the relative change is such that we're seeing little change in the trailing twelve month average of the rate of CO₂ accumulative in the atmosphere, which makes for a nice footnote to the surge that accompanied China's post-lockdown recovery.

Analyst's Note: The MLO's data series contained substantial revisions to historic data, including the data for the period from March 1958 through May 1974, which is highly unusual. Data for the period from March 2012 through March 2024 was also subject to notable revisions. We typically see revisions are concentrated over the most recent last three to four years, so the changes to the data that was released on 5 May 2024 really stands out as out of the ordinary.


National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Earth System Research Laboratory. Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 Data. [Online Data]. Updated 5 May 2024.


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