Greenhouse gases are at a record high according to a 2014 report. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealed the findings of the report Monday.
Their account pinpoints the issue as increasing levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. In combination with each other, these rising levels are making “the planet more dangerous and inhospitable for future generations,” the WMO stated.
The report showed that a whopping 36 percent increase in greenhouse gas levels since 1990. What’s more, the Northern Hemisphere surpassed 400 ppm (parts per million) for greenhouse gases, which shows that CO2 levels are abundant.
The 400 ppm level was reached on a global scale in the spring of 2015. It’s been millions of years since the Earth’s atmosphere has reached the dangerously high 400 ppm level. Once the gaseous levels surpass 400, it’s an indicator of long-term climate issues.
Regarding this event, Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General, stated as follows.
“We can’t see CO2. It is an invisible threat, but a very real one. It means hotter global temperatures, more extreme weather events like heatwaves and floods, melting ice, rising sea levels and increased acidity of the oceans. This is happening now and we are moving into unchartered territory at a frightening speed.”
The most common causes of greenhouse gas emissions are the burning of oil, coal, and gas. It releases carbon dioxide and methane into the air. These gases effectively trap heat on the Earth’s surface, causing it to warm and for weather to be unpredictable or severe.
This steady incline in CO2 levels began after the Industrial Revolution. This was a time where machines were discovered to make work easier and fossil fuels were burned without regulation. Before the Revolution, CO2 levels had only reached as high as 280 ppm. Afterwards, they rose significantly and continued to incline.
“Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations. Every year we say that time is running out,” said Jarraud. “We have to act now to slash greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have a chance to keep the increase in temperatures to manageable levels.”
This is something the WMO has been saying for years, ever since they began collecting information about the emission of greenhouse gases. Many politicians and citizens alike have been lobbying for change, and have made considerable headway with their campaigns.
However, now that the levels have reached such a dangerous point, it looks like officials all over the world are beginning to reach out to these campaigns to take more drastic, sustainable action.
The most notable action being taken regarding this new announcement is a convention of world leaders in Paris. It will include President Obama and a number of other government officials from various countries looking to make changes to the climate. They will primarily be discussing how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the major manufacturers that are creating the largest emissions around the world.
This is one of Obama’s many efforts in addressing the hot-topic climate change issue. Another occurred recently when he rejected the oil pipeline that would move oil and other energy products from Canada to Nebraska. Regarding this decision, he told the public the following in a country-wide address.
“Three weeks from now, I look forward to joining my fellow world leaders in Paris, where we’ve got to come together around an ambitious framework to protect the one planet that we’ve got while we still can.”
It’s become apparent that the United States and China emit more greenhouse gases than any other country in the world, and it’s become paramount that the climate change issue be addressed.
The greenhouse gases hit a record high, and President Obama and many other world leaders are recognizing the need for immediate action.
[Image via J.D. Pooley / Getty Images]