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Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit Record High In 2020 Despite Pandemic: Report

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a “stark, scientific message” for climate change negotiations at the upcoming UN climate conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow, said Petteri Taalas, head of the UN agency

Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit Record High In 2020 Despite Pandemic: Report
Last year, heat-trapping greenhouse gases reached a new record, surging above the planet's 2011-2020 average: Report
Highlights
  • Concentration of CO2 reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020: WMO
  • Milestone of 400 parts/million of CO2 in atmosphere was breached in 2015
  • We are way off track to meet goals of Paris Agreement: Report

Geneva: The UN weather agency on Monday (October 25) said that the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in 2020 has reached a new record despite global lockdowns and a temporary suspension of economic activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, heat-trapping greenhouse gases reached a new record, surging above the planet’s 2011-2020 average, and has continued in 2021, said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin published on Monday.

Also Read: Global Climate Conversation: Key Moments From Decades Of Climate Conferences

Concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020 and is 149% of the pre-industrial level, said WMO.

The milestone of 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere was breached in 2015. The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a “stark, scientific message” for climate change negotiations at the upcoming UN climate conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow, said Petteri Taalas, head of the UN agency.

At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, he explained.

“We are way off track.”

Also Read: Climate Change And UN Panel’s Five Possible Temperature Rise Scenarios Explained

The annual rate of increase of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exceeded the 2011-2020 average, setting a new record last year, and the trend has continued in 2021, the WMO said.

According to the report, the levels and growth rates have not been affected by the global economic slowdown during the pandemic, despite a temporary decline in new emissions. The current CO2 concentration levels can be comparable to those of 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer and the sea level was up to 20 meters (65 feet) higher, the document said. As long as emissions continue, global temperature will continue to rise and more parts of the world will experience weather extremes, the WMO warned.

Also Read: Study Shows Young Generations Are Severely Threatened By Climate Change

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India. 

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