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Greenhouse gas levels surge to record levels 12.09.14

BBC: Worrying new data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

This week, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) released a new report on the state of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, based on 2013 data. It shows that between 2012 and 2013, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere grew at their fastest rate since 1984, leading the WMO to call for a global climate treaty.

Speaking to the BBC, Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the WMO said “The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years. We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board. We are running out of time.”

Carbon dioxide is the single most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, but it also has an impact on the composition of our oceans. For the first time, the WMO reports on acidification of the seas caused by this gas – according to their data, every day the oceans take up about 4kg of CO2 per person. This current rate of acidification was described in the report as “unprecedented […] over the last 300 million years.”

It is hoped that this report will kick-start international efforts to develop a realistic and collaborative global climate strategy, to be agreed in Paris in 2015 (More details in our earlier story)

Download the full report here