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Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: WMO

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    2nd Nov, 2021

Context

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record last year (2020), with an annual increase of more than the 2011-2020 average.

About

  • This is despite a nearly 5.6% decline in CO2 emissions by 2020 due to the epidemic-related restrictions.
  • Earlier, the WMO released a report entitled United in Science 2021. WMO is a United Nations special centre for meteorology (climate and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical science.
  • The WMO Global Atmosphere Watch Program includes systematic monitoring and analysis of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric elements.

Data Analysis:

  • Concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the most important greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 million units by 2020 and is 149 percent pre-industrial level.
  • Many countries are now setting their own standards of neutrality and it is hoped that COP26 (Climate Conference) will see a dramatic increase in obligations.
  • Methane (CH4) is 262% and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is 123% of the levels by 1750 when human activities begin to disrupt the ecological balance of the earth.
  • The recession from Covid-19 did not have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions and growth rates, although there has been a temporary decline in new emissions.
  • From 1990 to 2020, the emission of radiation - the result of global warming - by long-term greenhouse gases increased by 47%, while CO2 accounted for about 80% of this increase.
  • The ability of terrestrial and marine organisms to function as “sinks” may not work properly in the future, thus reducing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and act as a barrier against global warming.

Concerns:

  • Rising temperatures are expected by the end of this century to significantly exceed the Paris Agreement's target of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • Parts of the Amazon rainforest have shifted from being a carbon dioxide-absorbing carbon dioxide source to a CO2 source due to deforestation and declining humidity in the region.
  • Considering the long life of CO2, the already observed temperature will continue for a few decades even if the emissions are rapidly reduced to zero. Alongside rising temperatures, this means more extreme climates including extreme heat and rain, melting glaciers, sea level rise and sea acidity, coupled with far-reaching social impacts.

Way forward

  • CO2 is the single most important greenhouse gas and has “major negative repercussions for our daily lives and well-being, for the state of our planet and for the future of our children and grandchildren.
  • We need to transform our commitment into action that will have an impact of the gases that drive climate change.
  • We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life.
  • Carbon sinks are vital regulators of climate change because they remove one-quarter of the CO2 that humans release into the atmosphere.
  • Nitrous Oxide is both a powerful greenhouse gas and ozone depleting chemical that is emitted into the atmosphere from both natural and anthropogenic sources, including oceans, soils, biomass burning, fertilizer use and various industrial processes.
  • Multiple co-benefits of reducing methane, whose gas remains in the atmosphere for about a decade, could support the Paris Agreement and help to reach many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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