Greenhouse gases accelerate to new peak in 2018, U.N. says

Environment

Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high, which is to inflict increasingly severe impacts of climate change upon future generations, a latest United Nations report warned on Monday.

The U.N. agency's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin is one of a series of studies to be published ahead of a U.N. climate change summit being held in Madrid next week, and is expected to guide discussions there.

The report warns this warming means future generations will have to deal with increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, extreme weather, water stress, sea-level rise and disruption to ecosystems both on land and in the oceans. "We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of the mankind". This increase was above the average for the last 10 years and is 147% of the "pre-industrial" level in 1750.

"We have again broken records in carbon dioxide concentrations and we have already exceeded 400ppm level which was regarded as a critical level", he said, in reference to the 407.8 parts per million reading for 2018.

The annual increase in methane - a greenhouse gas that is more potent than Carbon dioxide but dissipates faster - was the highest since 1998, said the report, which includes data from dozens of sites as well as naval and aerial measurements.

Ranges of different warming gases, equivalent to methane and nitrous oxide, occupy also surged by above common amounts.

Though the increase in Carbon dioxide was just above the average rise in the last decade, the levels of other warming gases like methane and nitrous oxide had surged by above average amounts, a BBC report quoted the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as saying. "Support then, the temperature used to be 2-3C warmer, sea level used to be 10-20m bigger than now", said Mr Taalas. So it's fitting that even on a day when there's a bit of good news about coal's decline, we also learned that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new peak.

Roughly 25 percent of all emissions are now absorbed by the oceans and biosphere - a term that accounts for all ecosystems on Earth.

"We face a stark choice: set in motion the radical transformations we need now, or face the consequences of a planet radically altered by climate change", Andersen said. It was the second-largest annual gain in two decades. These greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for long periods by themselves and the higher the concentration of these gases get, the more affective they get at trapping more and more heat. Approximately 40% of methane is emitted into the atmosphere by natural sources (e.g., wetlands and termites), and about 60% comes from human activities like cattle breeding, rice agriculture, fossil fuel exploitation, landfills and biomass burning.

Similarly, atmospheric methane levels reached new highs of about 1,869 parts per billion, reaching a massive 259% of the pre-industrial level.

Related:

Comments


Other news