14 Nov Global CO2 levels rise for first time in years
Concerns have surfaced again about the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that CO2 levels increased at record speed last year to reach a level not seen for more than three million years. The increase in 2016 was 50% higher than the average over the past decade. The report has triggered further calls from scientists for nations to consider more drastic emissions reductions.
The study uses monitoring ships and aircrafts, including other means such as stations on land to track emissions trends dating back to 1750. It has detected that carbon dioxide levels are now increasing 100 times faster than at the end of the last ice age. The increase has been attributed to population growth, industrialisation and deforestation.
The WMO confirmed that the last time carbon dioxide reached such levels was three to five million years ago. WMO chief Petteri Taalas said “there is hope” to reverse the concentration rates but insisted the time to act was now. “Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, we will be heading for dangerous temperature increases by the end of this century, well above the target set by the Paris climate change agreement.”
Researchers believe the emissions reduction policies currently in place around the world is not enough to combat the rising trend and insist more must be done.