Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) levels, 1800-present

To see precise values, hover your mouse cursor over the red and blue graph traces. (However, the ice core values are less accurate than the Mauna Loa measurements.)

Click here for a downloadable, bookmarkable image (except in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, use PrtScn or static image).

The relative scaling of the CO2 and CH4 axes was chosen so that the relative visual magnitude of changes in the two traces would very roughly approximate the relative warming effect of changes in the levels of the two gases. Additional CH4 is variously estimated to have between 20x and 80x the warming effect of the same amount of additional CO2; we used 25:1 so that the grid lines would line up nicely in the graph. (45:1 would have been more accurate.) However, the absolute height of the CH4 trace in this graph, relative to the bottom of the graph, still greatly exaggerates its total warming affect, compared to CO2.

1958-present CO2 data is from ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_annmean_mlo.txt & ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt (measurements at Mauna Loa Observatory, HI). 
1850-1958 CO2 data is from http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/ghgases/Fig1A.ext.txt (ice cores). 
1800-1850 CO2 data is from http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/law/law_co2.txt (Law Dome ice cores, 75 year smoothed). 
1984-present CH4 data is from ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/ch4/ch4_annmean_gl.txt & ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/ch4/ch4_mm_gl.txt (measurements at Mauna Loa). 
1800-1992 CH4 data is from http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/atm_meth/EthCH498B.txt (ice cores), interpolated. 
2017 CO2 figures are for July, 2017. Previous years are annual averages.  
 
We also have individual graphs of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) levels.
 
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