Carbon dioxide levels hit new high - UN
Publish Date: May 27, 2014
Carbon dioxide levels hit new high - UN
Carbon dioxide stays locked in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
  • mail
  • img

GENEVA - Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have crossed a new threshold, the UN's weather agency has said, highlighting the urgency of curbing manmade, climate-altering greenhouse gases.

In April, for the first time, the mean monthly CO2 concentration in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, which pollutes more than the south, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.

"This should serve as yet another wakeup call about the constantly rising levels of greenhouse gases which are driving climate change," WMO chief Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

"If we are to preserve our planet for future generations, we need urgent action to curb new emissions of these heat-trapping gases. Time is running out," he warned.

Spring values in the northern hemisphere had previously spiked over the 400 ppm level, but this was the first time the monthly mean concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere exceeded the threshold.

The chimneys of the Kolaghat Thermal Power Station loom above a field flooded for rice farming near Mecheda, West Bengal, India. PHOTO/AFP

The global annual average is set to exceed the 400 ppm level in 2015 or 2016, the agency added.

The threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance, and reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for the non-stop increase in heat-trapping gases, the WMO underlined.

CO2 stays locked in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and its lifespan in the oceans is longer still.

It is by far the most important greenhouse gas emitted by human activities and was responsible for 85 percent of the increase in radiative forcing, the warming effect on the climate, from 2002-2012.

According to the WMO, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 393.1 parts per million in 2012, or 141 percent of the pre-industrial level of 278 parts per million.

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased on average by two parts per million every year for the past decade.


Also related to this story

Uganda given sh48bn for climate change project

Climate change affecting food security

MDGs ‘fail on climate change’

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
What the Pope might teach us about Uganda’s energy future
When Pope Francis lands in Uganda, he will alight in a land that like many developing countries faces a choice between two possible s of development: one driven principally by renewable energy, or one pulled by the temptations of fossil fuels: oil and gas....
Uganda signs regional gorilla treaty
THE Minister of tourism and antiquities, Maria Mutagamba has signed a regional agreement to promote gorilla conservation in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo...
Kibaale Forest encroachment
About 30% of the forest was under encroachment last year but this has doubled....
Charcoal crisis on Kampala-Fort Portal highway
Experts on environment say a policy is needed to promote sustainable use of charcoal....
The head of the African Development Bank says the continent is not getting enough climate change funding....
When Pope Francis comes to Uganda in November, he will have a wonderful opportunity to push the climate change agenda....
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter