Global CO2 level continues to rise, says WMO report

25 November 2019

Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin published today shows that globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 ppm in 2017. Global levels of CO2 crossed the 400 ppm "benchmark" in 2015.

Global CO2 emissions have continued to rise, according to the WMO (Image: Pixabay)

WMO says this continuing long-term trend means that future generations will be confronted with increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise and disruption to marine and land ecosystems.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said: "The findings of WMO's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin and UNEP's Emissions Gap Report point us in a clear direction - in this critical period, the world must deliver concrete, stepped-up action on emissions. We face a stark choice: set in motion the radical transformations we need now, or face the consequences of a planet radically altered by climate change."

Since 1990, there has been a 43% increase in total radiative forcing - the warming effect on the climate - by long-lived greenhouse gases. CO2 accounts for about 80% of this, according to figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration quoted in the WMO Bulletin.

The separate and complementary Emissions Gap Report produced by UN Environment as part of a United in Science synthesis for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit held in New York in September, will be released on 26 November. UN Secretary-General Ant√≥nio Guterres said the summit had delivered "a boost in momentum, cooperation and ambition. But we have a long way to go". This will now be taken forward by the UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held on 2-15 December in Madrid, Spain, under the presidency of Chile.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News