It is not just temperature records that are falling. The average carbon dioxide level recorded at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, during February 2016 was 404.02 parts per million – 3.76 ppm higher than the average for February 2015, according to preliminary figures.
That is the biggest ever increase over a 12-month period. The previous 12-month record at Mauna Loa was 3.70 ppm, from September 1997 to September 1998.
A new record has also been set for the biggest rise over a calendar year. Global average CO2 levels (which differ slightly from the figures for Mauna Loa only) rose by 3.09 ppm in 2015. The previous record was a rise of 2.82 ppm, in 1998.
The record figures are due to the continued growth in emissions from human activity along with the ongoing El Niño phenomenon, which causes CO2 levels to shoot up because it causes in an increase in wildfires in places such as Indonesia.