UN Says ‘Time Is Running Out’ As Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit New Highs

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Wednesday reported that greenhouse gas concentrations surged at above-average rates, breaking records in 2021. The weather agency warns that “time is running out” for humans to make the necessary changes.

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, an annual report by the WMO, showed that three main greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — all reached new record highs in 2021, with the sharpest year-on-year increase in methane concentrations in 2021 since they began tracking almost four decades ago. 

Carbon dioxide levels recorded a larger-than-average growth rate between 2020 and 2021, with the level continuously rising in 2022 around the world. Carbon dioxide levels are also the largest contributor to the warming effect on the climate, which is known as radiative forcing, which has risen by 50% from 1990 to 2021.

Within-year increases of the global average from 1983–2021 | Via WMO

“WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin has underlined, once again, the enormous challenge — and the vital necessity — of urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global temperatures from rising even further in the future,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

“We need to transform our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life.  The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible. Time is running out,” he added.

The report is the first of a set of reports released before the United Nations Climate Change conference, COP27, in Egypt from November 7 to 18. Before the conference, WMO will present its provisional State of the Global Climate 2022 report, which will show how greenhouse gases continue to drive climate change and extreme weather. 

The WMO says that 2015 to 2021 were the warmest years ever recorded, and the average global temperature is now more than 1.1°C higher than the 1850–1900 pre-industrial average.

Information for this briefing was found via WMO, Reuters, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply