Greenhouse gases reach record levels

Concentrations in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change have reached record levels in 2021, according to a scientific report which again shows that global warming “shows no signs of slowing down”.

“The data presented in this report is clear: we continue to see growing scientific evidence of the global impacts of warming, which shows no signs of abating,” commented Rick Spinrad, Administrator of the U.S. Observation Agency. Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) whose scientists led this annual climate report.

An already record rate in 2021

In 2021, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere averaged 414.7 parts per million (ppm), 2.3 ppm higher than in 2020, according to the study published Tuesday in the American Society journal of meteorology. A record since the beginning of measurements and for at least a million years.

This record is not really a surprise. After the exceptional drop in 2020 with the Covid-19 crisis, emissions have largely started to rise again in 2021.

And in any case, CO2 has a lifetime in the atmosphere that can go up to several hundred years.

The Alarming Scientists

Some scientists compare the atmosphere to a bathtub. Even if we reduce the flow of water that is discharged into it (emissions from human activities), the volume of evacuation (absorption of CO2 by plants) is simply not sufficient to compensate, and the bathtub continues to fill up.

Levels of methane, a gas that lasts only ten years but has a warming power 80 times greater than CO2 over a twenty-year period, have also reached a record, according to the NOAA press release, which notes a “significant” acceleration in the annual increase in methane levels in recent years.

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