CO2 reaches record lev­els

The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD - Geneva

– The amount of car­bon diox­ide in the earth’s at­mos­phere in­creased at a record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for mil­lions of years, po­ten­tially fu­elling a 20-me­tre rise in sea lev­els and adding 3o to tem­per­a­tures, the UN said yes­ter­day.

At­mo­spheric con­cen­tra­tions of car­bon diox­ide (CO2), the main man-made green­house gas, hit 403.3 parts per mil­lion (ppm), up from 400 in 2015, the UN World Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Or­gan­i­sa­tion said in its an­nual Green­house Gas Bulletin.

That growth rate was 50% faster than the av­er­age over the past decade, driv­ing CO2 lev­els 45% above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els and fur­ther out­side the range of 180280 ppm seen in re­cent cy­cles of ice ages and warmer pe­ri­ods.

“Today’s CO2 con­cen­tra­tion of more than 400 ppm ex­ceeds the nat­u­ral vari­abil­ity seen over hun­dreds of thou­sands of years,” the WMO bulletin said.

The lat­est data adds to the ur­gency of a meet­ing in Bonn next month, when en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters from around the world will work on guide­lines for the Paris cli­mate ac­cord backed by 195 coun­tries in 2015.

The agree­ment is al­ready un­der pres­sure be­cause United States President Don­ald Trump has said he plans to pull the US out of the deal. –

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