(GENEVA) UN World Meteorological Organisation Report: Levels of climate-heating gases in the atmosphere hit record levels in 2020, despite coronavirus-related lockdowns, has announced #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Oct.26: The concentration of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, is now 50% higher than before the Industrial Revolution sparked the mass burning of fossil fuels. Methane levels have more than doubled since 1750. All key greenhouse gases (GHG) rose faster in 2020 than the average for the previous decade and this trend has continued in 2021,

#GlobalWarming & #ClimateChange Desk says according to Guardian Environmental News: By Greenhouse gas levels hit new record despite lockdowns, UN reports on Monday and the data sends a ‘stark’ message to the nations tasked with increasing action at the #COP26 climate summit, UN meteorology chief says and the WMO report found.

The concentration of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, is now 50% higher than before the Industrial Revolution.

The data shows the climate crisis continues to worsen and send a “stark” message to the nations meeting at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgowin a week’s time, according to WMO chief Prof Petteri Taalas: “We are way off track.”

The negotiators at the summit must deliver action to keep alive the goal of ending GHG emissions by 2050 and avoiding the worst climate impacts. Only stopping emissions will stabilise the levels of the gases and halt the temperature rises that drive the increasing damage from heatwaves, floods and droughts.

“At the current rate of increase in GHG concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5C to 2C,” said Taalas. “[Rising levels of GHGs] have major negative repercussions for our daily lives and wellbeing, and for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

“It is hoped Cop26 will see a dramatic increase in commitments,” he said. “We need to transform our commitment into action that will have an impact on GHGs. We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life – the needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible. There is no time to lose.”

The burning of coal, oil and gas is the biggest source of CO2, which is the cause of 66% of global heating. CO2 emissions fell by about 5% in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, compared to 2019. But many billions of tonnes of CO2 were still pumped into the atmosphere, meaning the Covid economic slowdown “did not have any discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of GHG and their growth rates”, the WMO said.

About half of the CO2 from human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the other half soaked up by oceans and trees and plants on land. But the WMO warned that global heating is damaging the ability of the natural world to take up emissions with, for example, the Amazon now having flipped from absorbing CO2 to emitting it as wildfires, droughts and logging destroy trees.

Methane accounts for 16% of global heating and the majority of its emissions are caused by human activity such as cattle farming and fossil fuel production. Methane is a potent and relatively short-lived GHG, so cutting emissions has a rapid impact. Ahead of Cop26, the US and EU pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

The other major GHG is nitrous oxide, responsible for 7% of global heating. These emissions mostly come from the overuse of chemical fertilisers in farming and cattle manure. The GHG data is collected by the WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch Programme.

Levels of atmospheric GHGs are higher than ever experienced by the human race, and the highest for 3-5 million years. At that time, global temperature was 2-3C hotter and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than today, said Talaas: “But there weren’t 7.8 billion people then.”

“The true success, or failure, of Cop26 will be written in our skies in the form of greenhouse gas concentrations. This WMO report provides a brutally frank assessment of what’s been written there to date. So far, it’s an epic fail,” said Prof Dave Reay, at the University of Edinburgh.

“The small window of opportunity to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that meets the Paris climate goals is about to vanish,” he said. “Will this 26th Cop find success where the previous 25 have fallen short? Our atmosphere will bear witness.”

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Oct.26: 2021:

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2012 Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Reached All Time High Driving Forward Climate Change

Global Warming 1/2

Global Warming 1/2 (Photo credit: lamazone)

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2012, continuing an upward trend which is driving climate change and which will shape the future of the planet for hundreds and thousands of years, according to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The agency’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that between 1990 and 2012, there was a 32 per cent increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on the climate – because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.

Carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil fuel-related emissions, accounted for 80 per cent of this increase, WMO stated in a news release. The atmospheric increase of CO<sub>2</sub> from 2011 to 2012 was higher than its average growth rate over the past 10 years.

What is happening in the atmosphere, said the Geneva-based WMO, is “one part of a much wider picture.” Only about half of the CO2 emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed in the biosphere and in the oceans.

The latest findings “highlight yet again how heat-trapping gases from human activities have upset the natural balance of our atmosphere and are a major contribution to climate change,” <“http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_980_en.html“>said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

He recalled that the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stressed in its recent Fifth Assessment Report that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.

“As a result of this, our climate is changing, our weather is more extreme, ice sheets and glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising,” said Mr. Jarraud.

He underscored that limiting climate change will require large and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. “We need to act now, otherwise we will jeopardize the future of our children, grandchildren and many future generations,” said Mr. Jarraud. “Time is not on our side,” he added.

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse Gases (Photo credit: CECAR – Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation R)

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations – and not emissions – of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere, the agency pointed out. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans.

At the same time, the Emissions Gap Report 2013, involving 44 scientific groups coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), urges wide-ranging global action to close the emissions gap.
If the international community fails to take action, the report warned, the chances of remaining on the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century will quickly diminish and open the door to a range of challenges.

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), governments have agreed to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The report, which was released yesterday as leaders prepare to meet for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, finds that although pathways exist that could reach the 2-degree Celsius target with higher emissions, not narrowing the gap will exacerbate mitigation challenges after 2020.

This will mean much higher rates of global emission reductions in the medium term; greater lock-in of carbon-intensive infrastructure; greater dependence on often unproven technologies in the medium term; greater costs of mitigation in the medium and long-term; and greater risks of failing to meet the 2-degree Celsius target.

“As the report highlights, delayed actions mean a higher rate of climate change in the near term and likely more near-term climate impacts, as well as the continued use of carbon-intensive and energy-intensive infrastructure,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“This ‘lock-in’ would slow down the introduction of climate-friendly technologies and narrow the developmental choices that would place the global community on the path to a sustainable, green future.

“However,” he added, “the stepping stone of the 2020 target can still be achieved by strengthening current pledges and by further action, including scaling up international cooperation initiatives in areas such as energy efficiency, fossil fuel subsidy reform and renewable energy.”

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