For the 19th year in a row, record high levels of CO2 and methane were measured in the atmosphere over Norway last year, according to new figures.
The observations from 2019 show that the annual average value for the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in 2019 was 411.9 million parts (ppm) on Zeppelin on Svalbard, and that is 2.6 ppm higher than the year before.
At Birkenes in Agder, the concentration is 416.1 ppm, which is 0.9 higher than the year before, the report from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (Nilu) shows.
The research was carried out on behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency.
The CO2 concentration continues to increase
“We have observed new CO2 records on Zeppelin every single year since 2001,” said senior researcher Cathrine Lund Myhre from Nilu in a press release.
“As long as we emit more CO2 than is absorbed, the concentration in the atmosphere will continue to increase,” she added.
If the world is to be able to stay below the degree of 2 degrees, the CO2 concentration will stabilize at a level below 400 ppm over time.
Increased methane concentration
For methane, the annual average values were measured at 1961.2 billion parts (ppb) in Birkenes and 1952.9 ppb at Zeppelin.
Compared to the 2018 level, this represents an increase in Zeppelin of 14.3 ppb, the highest annual increase ever recorded. At Birkenes, the increase was also significant, with 8.2 ppb.
According to Lund Myhre, the increase in methane concentration is still a small mystery for researchers.
“We do not know for sure whether the increase is due to methane emissions from human activity, or whether it is due to climate change having initiated processes in nature that emit more methane into the atmosphere,” said Lund Myhre.