Greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere hit record high in 2021
- Editor’s note: There is little collective will to reverse these ominous trends for humanity.
The U.N. weather agency published the alarming report less than two weeks before world leaders gather for the U.N. Climate Change Conference.
From NBC News:
The amount of carbon dioxide and two other greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere hit record highs last year, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report published Wednesday.
Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are the three main greenhouse gases responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere and driving global warming. The WMO’s latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, published annually, found that concentrations of all three reached new highs last year — a worrying trend and a sign that the world is not doing enough to fight climate change.
“WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin has underlined, once again, the enormous challenge — and the vital necessity — of urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global temperatures rising even further in the future,” Petteri Taalas, the WMO’s secretary-general, said in a statement.
The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from 2020 to 2021 was larger than the average annual growth rate over the past decade, according to the report. The WMO also said last year’s rise in methane levels was the biggest year-on-year jump since such measurements began almost 40 years ago.
Measurements for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in 2021 were all above pre-industrial levels, “before human activities started disrupting natural equilibrium of these gases in the atmosphere,” the WMO said.