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False, CO2 Has Never Been Recorded at 8000 Parts Per Million (ppm)

False, CO2 Has Never Been Recorded at 8000 Parts Per Million (ppm)

A message was forwarded in a Telegram group saying that CO2 has been 10times higher in earth’s history even 17 times higher at 8000 parts per million (Just as per cent means out of a hundred, so parts per million or ppm means out of a million.) than today’s record of 420 ppm. 

Over 2000 people saw this forwarded message. 


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration, (NOAA) atmospheric carbon dioxide never exceeded 300 ppm based on research done by studying air bubbles trapped in ice cores and other paleoclimate-(a climate during a past geological age) evidence from ice age cycles of the past million years and more. 

They add that before the Industrial Revolution started in the mid-1700s, atmospheric carbon dioxide was 280 ppm or less.

According to NASA, ancient air bubbles trapped in ice enable scientists to step back in time and see what Earth’s atmosphere, and climate, were like in the distant past. 

“They tell us that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are higher than they have been at any time in the past 400,000 years. During ice ages, CO2 levels were around 200 parts per million (ppm), and during the warmer interglacial periods, they hovered around 280 ppm,” NASA says.

Following the Keeling Curve lessons, scientists found out that in 2013 CO2 levels surpassed 400 ppm for the first time in recorded history.

The measurements of air in ice cores show that for the past 800,000 years up until the 20th century, the atmospheric CO2 concentration stayed within the range 170 to 300 parts per million (ppm), making the recent rapid rise to more than 400 ppm over 200 years particularly remarkable.

Embed the video from NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory showing the GLOBALVIEW CO2 collection from 800,000 years to date. 

“Over 400,000 years, and even longer, levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have risen and fallen from about 180 parts per million to 280, varying from colder in the Ice Ages to warmer in interglacial periods,” the National Science Foundation Ice core Facility states.

The AR5 Climate change Mitigation report 2014 indicates that human activities contribute to the production of CO2 with a percentage of 65% for fossil fuels and industrial processes and 11% for forestry and other land use.


The claim that CO2 has been recorded at 8000 ppm than the current levels is false, historical evidence shows that CO2 levels are increasing and there are no recorded levels above 8000 ppm.

This fact-check was produced by Debunk Media Initiative with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network and African Fact-Checking Alliance network.

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