Greenhouse gases at record high despite COVID-19 measures

PP&L Montour coal fired power plant Washingtonville PA

PP&L Montour coal fired power plant Washingtonville PA

But this will not cause concentrations of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to go down, it said, warning the impact on concentrations was "no bigger than the normal year to year fluctuations".

CO2 levels reached 410 parts per million in 2019, and the final figure for 2020 is expected to be higher, negating what we thought might be one bit of good news to come out of the global pandemic that has dominated this year. The WMO adds that the Earth has registered a 45% increase in radiative forcing (the warming effect of GHGs) since 1990.

That's according to the latest report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which suggests the last time carbon dioxide levels were that high was three to five million years ago, when the temperature was 2°C to 3°C warmer and sea level was ten to 20 metres higher than now. "In any case, there weren't 7.7 billion occupants".

Taalas pointed out that the world breached the global threshold of 400 ppm in 2015, voicing alarm that "just four years later, we crossed 410 ppm".

"We humans did it without anything, with just with our emissions, and we did it within four years".

"Such a rate of increase has never been seen in the history of our records", Taalas said. "We need a sustained flattening of the curve", WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is not a solution for climate change", says Taalas. However, it does provide us with a platform for more sustained and ambitious climate action to reduce emissions to net zero through a complete transformation of our industrial, energy and transport systems.

"The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible and would affect our everyday life only marginally", he said.

"We have seen such changes, but those changes happened when the whole climate changed from glacial to interglacial and that change happened within 100 to 200 years..." During the most intense period of the shutdown earlier this year, daily Carbon dioxide emissions were down by up to 17 percent globally.

Emissions are the main source of GHGs coming into the air.

They are responsible for 50 percent of global emissions. Other exploration concurs with the end that concentrations of ozone depleting substances in our atmosphere are as yet on an upward pattern, not least due to the numerous restrictions not identified with Covid lockdowns - for example, dissolving permafrost, which delivers Carbon dioxide and methane that was trapped under the ice into the air.

CO2 will continue to go up, though at a slightly reduced pace (0.08-0.23 ppm per year lower). This is well below the 1.0 ppm threshold, which is the natural variability between different years.

The annual report released by the Geneva-based United Nations agency measures the atmospheric concentration of the gases - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - that are warming our planet and triggering extreme weather events.

When you consider that the widespread and significant changes we've seen in human behaviour this year have barely made a dent in Carbon dioxide levels, it's clear the sort of challenge we're up against in reversing global warming. These stations have continued to function despite COVID-19 restrictions hampering resupplies and rotation of staff in often harsh and isolated locations.

However, the WMO described the projected 2020 drop as a "tiny blip" and said the resulting impact on the carbon dioxide concentrations that contribute to global warming would be no bigger than normal annual fluctuations.

Figures for 2019 show carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rose faster than on average for the last 10 years, and are now at about 410.5 ppm in 2019, compared with just 278 ppm in pre-industrial times. The trend is undeniably being driven by human activity, namely the burning of fossil fuels, industrial activity, and deforestation. Nitrous oxide is the third major greenhouse gas.

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