Greenhouse gases in the air hit a new album in 2018, increasing faster than the typical rise of the previous ten years and cementing increasingly harmful weather patterns, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.
The U.N. bureau’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin is one of a set of research to be printed before a U.N. climate change summit being held in Madrid next week, also is anticipated to guide talks there. It measures the atmospheric concentration of these gases responsible for global warming, instead of emissions.
“There is not an indication of a downturn, let alone a decrease, in greenhouse gases’ concentration in the air — despite all of the responsibilities under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” explained WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“This continuing longterm tendency implies that future generations will probably be faced with severe impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures, more extreme weather, water pressure, sea-level rise and disruption to both marine and land ecosystems.”
The concentration of carbon dioxide, a product of burning fossil fuels which is the largest contributor to global warming, jumped from 405.5 parts per million in 2017 into 407.8 ppm in 2018, surpassing the average rate of growth of 2.06 ppm at 2005-2015, the WMO report stated.
Regardless of future coverage, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for decades, locking in heating trends.
“It might be worth remembering that the last time that the Earth experienced a similar concentration of CO2 has been 3-5 million decades back,” Taalas explained.
Degrees of methane — a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2 — and nitric oxide also hit fresh documents, the report stated.