The concentration in the atmosphere of the gases that cause climate change breaks another record

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the layer of greenhouse gases that cause climate change continues to thicken: the concentration of CO2, methane (MH4) or nitrous oxide (N2O) in 2020 broke its records and “the trend continues this year “, according to the analysis of the World Meteorological Organization.

This gaseous crust is what traps the Sun’s heat once it has bounced off the Earth’s surface and increases global warming that alters the climate. Measurements indicate that the average concentration of CO2 in the planet’s atmosphere reached 413.2 parts per million. It is 150% more than the estimated value for 1750. Methane reached 1889 ppm (262% higher) and nitrous oxide at 333 ppm (123% more). “The slowdown in economic activity has not had a distinguishable effect on greenhouse gas levels,” explains the Organization.

These figures are what mark the dimension of the climate crisis. The WMO bulletin indicates that the warming caused by these gases has grown by 47% since 1990. And they also indicate the long-term damage of CO2 or methane emissions since, although they fell somewhat in 2020 due to the pandemic, the concentration in the air continued up because these compounds have a long life. “Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for centuries and in the ocean even longer,” insisted WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas. “The last time there was this amount of CO2 was two or three million years ago, when the temperature of the Earth was one or two degrees higher and the sea level between 10 and 20 meters higher. And then there were not 7,000 million of people inhabiting the planet “, has summarized Taalas.


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