Surge in CO2 Concentration Pushes Greenhouse Gases Levels to Record High

World | September 9, 2014, Tuesday // 13:10

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

"We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels," says WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in a statement accompanying the WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

According to the latest edition of the WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396.0 parts per million in 2013.

The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million, which is the largest annual increase for the period 1984-2013.

At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold in 2015 or 2016.

Methane, the second most important long-lived greenhouse gas, also reached a new high of about 1824 parts per billion (ppb) in 2013, due to increased emissions from anthropogenic sources.

Atmospheric methane has been increasing since 2007 after a temporary period of leveling-off.

Nitrous oxide reached an atmospheric concentration of around 325.9 parts per billion.

According to the WTO report, the current rate of ocean acidification appears unprecedented at least over the last 300 million years, based on proxy-data from paleo archives.

The organization warns that ocean acidification will continue to accelerate at least until mid-century, based on projections from Earth system models.

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Tags: World Meteorological Organization, CO2, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, climate change
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