Greenhouse: Greenhouse gas levels hit new record high: United Nations – Times of India

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Geneva: Greenhouse Gas concentrations in the atmosphere hit new record levels last year, the United Nations said on Monday in a stern warning ahead of the COP26 summit about worsening global warming.
Greenhouse Gas Bulletin from the United Nations world meteorological organization said last year the annual rate of growth was above the annual average between 2011 and 2020 – and that trend continued into 2021.
NS social support act said the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led to a temporary drop in new emissions, but had no apparent effect on atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates.
The organization said that as long as emissions continue, global temperatures will continue to rise.
And given the long life of carbon dioxide (CO2), previously observed temperature levels will persist for several decades, even as emissions rapidly drop to near zero.
COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, is being held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin at COP26 has a clear, scientific message for climate change negotiators,” said WMO chief peteri talas.
“At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels of the Paris Agreement by the end of this century.
“We’re out of the way.”
The three major greenhouse gases are CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important is CO2, which is responsible for about 66 percent of the warming effect on the climate.
The WMO said CO2 concentrations reached 413.2 parts per million by 2.5 ppm in 2020, and are at 149 percent of 1750 pre-industrial levels.
The report said that about half of the CO2 emitted by human activity remains in the atmosphere, while the other half ends up in the oceans and land.
“The last time Earth experienced comparable concentrations of CO2 was 3-5 million years ago, when temperatures were 2-3C warmer and sea levels were 10-20 meters higher than now. But then there weren’t 7.8 billion people, said Talas.
Methane averaged in 2020 reached a new high of 1,889 parts per billion, 11ppb higher than a year ago, and at 262 percent of the pre-industrial benchmark.
About 40 percent of methane is emitted from natural sources such as wetlands, while 60 percent comes from human activity, including rice agriculture and landfills.
At 123 percent of the 1750 level, nitrous oxide averaged 1.2 ppb up to 333.2 ppb.
With rising greenhouse gas emissions coupled with rising temperatures, the planet can also expect more weather extremes, the WMO said.
This includes intense heat and precipitation, melting ice, sea level rise and ocean acidification – all of which will have far-reaching socio-economic effects.
“We need to turn our commitment into action that will impact the gases that drive climate change,” Talas said.
“We need to rethink our industrial, energy and transportation systems and entire way of life. The changes needed are economically economical and technologically feasible. There is no time to lose.”
Euan Nisbet of the Greenhouse Gas Group at the University of London compared greenhouse gas measurements to “sliding in a car accident”.
“The disaster gets closer but you can’t stop it. You can clearly see the crash ahead, and all you can do is howl.”
Dave Ray, director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, said the report provided a “brutally clear” assessment of the COP’s achievements so far: “an epic fail”.