Climate change: CO2 and methane in our atmosphere reach record levels – UN News

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Climate Change

The agency’s yearly Greenhouse Gas Bulletin warns of the biggest year-on-year jump in methane concentrations in 2021 since systematic measurements began nearly 40 years ago.While the reason for the unprecedented increase is still unclear, it seems to be a result of both biological and human-induced processes according to the report.

The increase in carbon dioxide levels from 2020 to 2021 was also larger than the average annual growth rate over the last decade, and according to WMO, the levels continue to rise through 2022.

“[The report] has underlined, once again, the enormous challenge – and the vital necessity – of urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global temperatures from rising even further in the future,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

IMF/Crispin Rodwell

More electric vehicles on the road will mean less pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

A human hand in the planet’s warming

The report explains that between 1990 and 2021, the warming effect on our climate (known as radiative forcing) by long-lived greenhouse gases (those that stay in the atmosphere) has risen by nearly 50 per cent, mainly fuelled by a CO2 increase.

To be more specific, CO2 concentrations last year reached 415.7 parts per million (ppm), methane 1908 ppm, and nitrous oxide 334.5 ppm.  These values constitute, respectively, 149 per cent, 262 per cent and 124 per cent of pre-industrial levels before human activities started disrupting the natural balance of these gases in the atmosphere.

“The continuing rise in concentrations of the main heat-trapping gases, including the re …

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