Greenhouse Gas Hits A New Record
A report by the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) showed carbon dioxide levels surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the last decade and has continued in 2021 despite a temporary dip in emissions during covid-19 lockdown. At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, there is a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris agreement target of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius (2.7-3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
According to report, concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide were all above levels in the pre-industrial era before 1750, when human activities "started disrupting Earth's natural equilibrium." One of the striking messages from the report is that the Amazon in region, which used to be a sink of carbon, has become a source of carbon dioxide. Roughly half of today's human-emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere and the other half is taken up by oceans and land ecosystems.
As long as emissions continue, global temperature will continue to rise and more parts of the world will experience weather extremes. Experts argue that emissions must half by 2030 compared with 2010 levels and essentially hit zero by mid-century, if the Paris goal of capping global warming at 2 degree centigrade, ideally no more than 1.5 degree centigrade to be achieved. Overshooting the temperature goals will lead to a destabilize world and endless suffering, especially among those who have contributed the least to the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Multiple co-benefits of reducing emissions could support the Paris Agreement and help to reach many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It's pivotal to move from commitment to achievement to get rid of threatening greenhouse gas emissions.