Concentrations of warming gases break record

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The levels of gases in the atmosphere that drive global warming increased to a record high in 2012.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), atmospheric CO2 grew more rapidly last year than its average rise over the past decade.

Concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide also broke previous records

Thanks to carbon dioxide and these other gases, the WMO says the warming effect on our climate has increased by almost a third since 1990.

The WMO's annual greenhouse gas bulletin measures concentrations in the atmosphere, not emissions on the ground.

Carbon dioxide is the most important of the gases that they track, but only about half of the CO2 that's emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed by the plants, trees, the land and the oceans.
 

Written By: Matt McGrath
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

7 COMMENTS

  1. I am beside myself with frustration. It is like being in the back seat of Thelma and Louise’s convertible. My whole species has decided to commit suicide rather than give up oil. Personally I will likely die of natural cause before the shit hits the fan, but it really bothers me my planet being trashed by greedy stupid little monkeys.

    Just what is it going to take before we pay attention?

    • In reply to #1 by Roedy:

      I am beside myself with frustration. It is like being in the back seat of Thelma and Louise’s convertible. My whole species has decided to commit suicide rather than give up oil. Personally I will likely die of natural cause before the shit hits the fan, but it really bothers me my planet being tr…

      Its not suicide. Its is the same as a young person blowing all their money in nightclubs rather than putting a sensible amount into their pension fund – they are just going to have to live with the consequences.

      • In reply to #3 by God fearing Atheist:

        Its not suicide. Its is the same as a young person blowing all their money in nightclubs rather than putting a sensible amount into their pension fund – they are just going to have to live with the consequences.

        Well, except that future generations are also going to be condemned to live with the same consequences. But hey- what have future generations ever done for us?

        Steve

  2. More scientific factors from human activity keep appearing! -
    Just like the sulphur aerosols and soot emissions causing local cooling effects.

    Ozone chemicals ban linked to global warming ‘pause’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24874060

    Even after the ban on CFCs the thinning of the ozone layer continued, although it is now recovering.

    A new study suggests that the ban on ozone depleting chemicals may have also impacted the rise in global temperatures.

    CFC gases were responsible for a massive hole in the ozone layer but they also had a powerful greenhouse effect.

    The authors link a ban on their use to a “pause” or slowdown in temperature increases since the mid 1990s.

    The research is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    The subject of a hiatus or standstill in global temperatures rises since 1998 has been the subject of intense debate among scientists, and it has been used as a key argument by some to show that the impacts of global warming have been exaggerated.
    Competing arguments

    There have been a number of theories as to why the rise in emissions from CO2 and other gases has not been mirrored in temperatures since the late 1990s.

    These include increases in China’s use of coal, changes in solar output, and the impact of the El Nino weather cycle.

  3. As the evidence keeps rolling in, it will be increasingly obvious that we cannot simply keep burning carbon, generating CO2 and NO2 or leaking CH4.

    WMO says Typhoon Haiyan is climate ‘wake-up call’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24925580

    This year is likely to be among the top 10 warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

    It continues a pattern of high temperatures blamed directly on man-made climate change.

    The president of the World Bank, Kim Yong Kim, told BBC News that warming could no longer be ignored.

    He urged action to reduce emissions to minimise the likelihood of disasters like Typhoon Haiyan, which has claimed thousands of lives in the Philippines.

    This will eventually bite the denialist carbonaceous Luddites, when the bankers recognise that their “valuable coal reserves” cannot be mined and used, so are in fact worthless! Their funding of stooge politicians will dry up, and countries like these islands states will be making compensation claims for against the liars and polluters who caused the damage.

    The WMO’s head, Michel Jarraud, echoed his call: “The Philippines is reeling from Typhoon Haiyan… and is still struggling to recover from a typhoon one year ago.

    “Although individual tropical cyclones cannot be directly attributed to climate change, higher sea levels are already making coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges.”

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the jury is out on whether the frequency of tropical cyclones will increase, but Michel Jarraud said it was expected that the impact of storms would be more intense.

    Of the broad pattern, he said: “All of the warmest years have been since 1998, and this year once again continues the underlying, long-term trend. The coldest years now are warmer than the hottest years before 1998.

    “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new highs in 2012, and we expect them to reach unprecedented levels yet again in 2013. This means that we are committed to a warmer future.

    “Surface temperatures are only part of the wider picture of our changing climate. The impact on our water cycle is already becoming apparent – as manifested by droughts, floods and extreme precipitation.”

    Today’s statement is provisional, pending weather patterns to the end of the year, but it confirms that global sea level reached a new record high.

    Mr Kim said the overall trend was clear. He urged governments to end subsidies for fossil fuels and give people clean energy sources.

    Australian arguments

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    The Philippines is not the only place to experience extreme weather: in 2012, the US suffered record high temperatures; this year was the turn of Australia.

    It recorded its warmest 12-month period on record in the period ending in August. This record was broken in the 12 months from September 2012 to September 2013 and again in the 12 months to October.

    Despite the record temperatures, climate change has proved politically explosive in Australia, with the new government scrapping a controversial carbon tax and refusing to pay into a fund to help poor countries most affected by climate change.

    There is a high level of scepticism on climate change in Australia, and government ministers point to the uncertainties over future projections.

    But Prof Kevin Parton from the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales said:** “The overall message of the WMO statement is that recent conditions from all parts of the globe have been precisely what climate scientists predicted would occur under conditions of global warming.**

    “Apart from increasing global temperatures, the statement points to many, many examples of extreme weather from the UK to Russia, and from the Sudan to Argentina. It also highlights huge impacts of climate change on Arctic sea ice, the Greenland Ice Sheet, Antarctic sea ice and the rise in global sea level.

    “If you look only at heat waves over the last 12 months, then extreme conditions occurred in Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Austria, Finland, China and Japan.”

    Australia as in some other countries, has politicians with heads firmly planted in the sand!

  4. And as CO2 emissions rise, so does ocean acidity!

    Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans ‘acid trip’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24904143
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    The world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate” and may be souring more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years.

    In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists say acidification could increase by 170% by 2100.

    They say that some 30% of ocean species are unlikely to survive in these conditions.

    The researchers conclude that human emissions of CO2 are clearly to blame.

    The study will be presented at global climate talks in Poland next week.

    In 2012, over 500 of the world’s leading experts on ocean acidification gathered in California. Led by the International Biosphere-Geosphere Programme, a review of the state of the science has now been published.

    This Summary for Policymakers states with “very high confidence” that increasing acidification is caused by human activities which are adding 24 million tonnes of CO2 to oceans every day.

    Pickled waters

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    The addition of so much carbon has altered the chemistry of the waters.

    Since the start of the industrial revolution, the waters have become 26% more acidic.

    “This is the state of the art,” said Prof Jean-Pierre Gattuso, from CNRS, the French national research agency.

    “My colleagues have not found in the geological record, rates of change that are faster than the ones we see today.”

    What worries the scientists is the potential impact on many ocean species including corals.

    Studies carried out at deep sea vents where the waters are naturally acidic thanks to CO2, indicate that around 30% of the ocean’s biodiversity may be lost by the end of this century.

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