What is the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
The global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – the primary driver of recent climate change – has reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in recorded history, according to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
Oxygen and carbon dioxide. The Earth's early atmosphere is believed to have been mainly carbon dioxide with little or no oxygen gas. The Earth's atmosphere today contains around 21 percent oxygen and about 0.04 percent carbon dioxide.
- The proportion of oxygen went up because of photosynthesis by plants. The proportion of carbon dioxide went down because: it was locked up in sedimentary rocks, such as limestone, and in fossil fuels. it was absorbed by plants for photosynthesis.
- The average human exhales about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide on an average day. (The exact quantity depends on your activity level—a person engaged in vigorous exercise produces up to eight times as much CO2 as his sedentary brethren.)
- Because of its near-total dependence on petroleum fuels, the U.S. transportation sector is responsible for about a third of our country's climate-changing emissions. Globally, about 15 percent of manmade carbon dioxide comes from cars, trucks, airplanes, ships and other vehicles.
The Earth's atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other gases, including about 0.04 percent carbon dioxide. And yes, Earth's CO2 concentration stood at 400 parts per million in May 2015.
- The Earth's atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other gases, including about 0.04 percent carbon dioxide. And yes, Earth's CO2 concentration stood at 400 parts per million in May 2015.
- By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1% at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere.
- The atmosphere of Mars is about 100 times thinner than Earth's, and it is 95 percent carbon dioxide. Here's a breakdown of its composition, according to a NASA fact sheet: Carbon dioxide: 95.32 percent. Nitrogen: 2.7 percent.
Updated: 4th November 2019