Washington: Measurements show the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped by the biggest amount on record last month, a rise amplified by El Nino, scientists say. Carbon dioxide levels increased by 4.16 parts per million in April compared to a year earlier, according to readings at Hawaii's Mauna Loa. Until this year, the biggest increase was 3.7 ppm. Records go back to 1950.
April's carbon dioxide level of 407.42 was a record 2.59 ppm rise from March. Carbon dioxide levels are cyclical, peaking in May and then dropping until fall. That's on top of a steady 2.5 to 3 ppm yearly increase from the burning of fossil fuels. Federal global atmospheric monitoring director Jim Butler called the jump scary, and said it was mostly triggered by El Nino.