Co2 levels hit record high in 2016: WMO report

Express News

Concentration of co2 in the earth’s atmosphere increased at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to reach the highest level in 800,000 years

By AFP|Updateded: November 03, 2017

The WMO’s ‘Greenhouse Gas Bulletin’, released on Monday, stated the abrupt changes in the atmosphere experienced in the previous 70 years are without precedent. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Concentration of co2 in the earth’s atmosphere increased at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to reach the greatest level in 800,000 years, a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said. The development, it said, has the possible to initiate unmatched changes in environment systems, triggering extreme environmental and economic interruptions.

The WMO’s ‘Greenhouse Gas Bulletin’, launched on Monday, stated the abrupt modifications in the environment seen in the previous 70 years lack precedent.

As per the report, globally balanced concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016 up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a mix of human activities and a strong El Niño occasion. Concentrations of CO2 are now 145% of pre-industrial (prior to 1750) levels.

The report stressed that the last time the Earth experienced a similar concentration of carbon dioxide was 3-5 million years back when the temperature was 2-3 ° C warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters greater than now.

It cautioned that rapidly increasing atmospheric levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have the possible to initiate extraordinary modifications in climate systems, resulting in severe eco-friendly and economic disruptions.

It highlighted factors like population development, intensified agricultural practices, increases in land usage and logging, industrialization and associated energy use from fossil fuel behind the unmatched increases in concentration of greenhouse gases in the environment given that the industrial age, beginning in 1750.

According to the report, the rate of increase of climatic carbon dioxide over the past 70 years is almost 100 times more than that at the end of the last glacial epoch.

Methane, another major greenhouse gas, reached a new high of about 1853 parts per billion (ppb) in 2016 and is now 257% of the pre-industrial level.

The levels of laughing gas, another greenhouse gas, too reached brand-new highs. Its climatic concentration in 2016 was 328.9 parts per billion which is 122% of pre-industrial levels.

“Without quick cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, we will be moving towards unsafe temperature boosts by the end of this century, well above the target set by the Paris climate change agreement. Future generations will acquire a much more inhospitable planet,” stated WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas in a main statement.

“CO2 remains in the environment for hundreds of years and in the oceans for even longer. The laws of physics indicate that we deal with a much hotter, more extreme climate in the future. There is currently no magic wand to eliminate this CO2 from the atmosphere,” he included.

The report comes ahead of the UN environment change settlements that are scheduled to be held from 7-17 November in Bonn, Germany.