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Carbon dioxide concentration in Korea rises sharply in 2019

South Korea’s carbon dioxide concentration significantly rose last year and is higher than the global average, data showed Thursday.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, Korea’s yearly average concentration of carbon dioxide reached 417 parts per million in 2019, up 2.7 ppm from 415.2 ppm recorded a year earlier.

The level is much higher than 409.8 ppm recorded for the global average and 411.4 ppm recorded for the United States. Carbon dioxide level is largely interpreted as a barometer for the pace of climate change, and Korea has been maintaining a high pace of increase with greater concentration than the global medium.

For the 10 years between 2009 and 2018, Korea saw its yearly concentration rise 2.4 ppm on average, compared to 2.3 ppm for the whole planet.

The KMA analyzed that the global carbon dioxide level rose from soil and ocean producing more carbon dioxide due to warmer sea water. The agency said Korea’s concentration level could have turned out higher due to the recording location’ proximity to urban and industrial areas.

The carbon dioxide concentration was recorded at the island of Anmyeondo, South Chungcheong Province, a representative location in the country in terms of monitoring climate changes. Many carbon dioxide level monitoring centers outside Korea are located in relatively eco-friendly regions.

By Ko Jun-tae (