Greenhouse Gases Reach New Highs
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Monday, 26 November 2012 23:17


The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which was released by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) this week has indicated that volumes of greenhouse gases increased to record levels during 2011.

Greenhouse gases are generally blamed for climate change and are thought to be directly resulting from human behaviour. During 2011 they increased to 390.9 parts per million.

This figure is made up mostly of fossil fuels or carbon, however there has also been a significant increase in the volume of methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Other gases such as sulphur hexafluoride and HCFCs and HFCs were growing in volume, while CFCs and halons were reducing.

The WMO secretary General Michel Jarraud has said that the billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere are likely to stay there for centuries, adding to global warming. Oceans will also become more acidic leading to repercussions for marine life and the food chain. Only half the current emissions are absorbed by the environment and our knowledge and monitoring needs to be boosted to better understand the full impact.

The WMO report states that human activities such as agriculture, deforestation and the use of fossil fuels had led to an increase in the climate of around 30% since 1990.