Greenhouse gases accelerated to new peak last year, says UN

Katie Ramirez
November 28, 2019

According to the WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which collects data from fifty four countries, the average concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017.

The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the main driver of climate change, reached a record in 2018, the United Nations said, calling for rapid action to safeguard "the future welfare of humanity".

WMO secretary-customary Petteri Taalas mentioned: 'There is no such thing as a signal of a slowdown, let on my own a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration within the ambiance despite the total commitments below the Paris Settlement on Local weather Trade. This increase was above the average for the last 10 years and is 147% of the "pre-industrial" level in 1750.

"For CH4, the increase from 2017 to 2018 was higher than both that observed from 2016 to 2017 and the average over the last decade", the bulletin noted.

Methane and nitrous oxide levels continue to rise as well, warns World Meteorological Organization.

He said the last time our planet experienced comparable concentration of Carbon dioxide was three to five million years ago when the temperature was 2-3 degree Celsius warmer and sea level 10-20 metres higher than now.

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The WMP warns that even with the pledges made by worldwide locations below the worldwide Paris deal, global emissions are no longer expected to height by 2030.

Scientists say greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, can linger in the atmosphere for centuries and trap solar radiation from the sun.

"The findings of WMO's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin and UNEP's Emissions Gap Report point us in a clear direction - in this critical period, the world must deliver concrete, stepped-up action on emissions", said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It measures the atmospheric concentration of these gases responsible for global warming, instead of emissions. People who live in areas with higher levels of fine particulate matter pollution are at least six per cent more likely to have the condition which can cause blindness, a University College London-led study finds.

At the beginning of 2019, a report came out showing that after three years of being on the decline, Carbon dioxide emissions increased by an estimated 3.4 percent in the United States in 2018. It was the second-largest annual gain in two decades. Concentrations of methane also surged to 1,869 parts per billion in 2018, an increase of about 10 parts per billion from 2017.

Nitrous oxide is emitted from natural and human sources, including from the oceans and from fertiliser-use in farming. This is 123% of pre-industrial levels. When these greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere they are able to trap heat thereby raising temperatures.

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