CO2 reaches record levels
– 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. –