UN says greenhouse gases rose to record levels in 2011

Nov 20, 2012
File picture of vehicles travel along the central east-west axis of Chang'An Avenue in Beijing on a smoggy day on November 2009. The volume of greenhouse gases causing global warming rose to a new high last year, the UN World Meteorological Organisation said Tuesday.

The volume of greenhouse gases causing global warming rose to a new high last year, the UN World Meteorological Organisation said Tuesday.

"The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2011," the WMO said as it launched its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin report, pointing out that the worst warming gases—carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide—had all reached new highs.

Levels of carbon dioxide—the single most important man-made contributor to climate change—rose to 390.9 parts per million in 2011, which is 2.0 ppm higher than in 2010.

That is 140 percent of the "pre-industrial level" before 1750, WMO said, adding that in the past 260 years about 375 billion tonnes of carbon have been released into the atmosphere as CO2.

"These billions of tonnes of additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on all aspects of life on earth," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

Graphic illustrating the world's top carbon dioxide emitters in 2011. The volume of greenhouse gases causing global warming rose to a new high last year, the UN World Meteorological Organisation said Tuesday.

"Future emissions will only compound the situation," he cautioned.

He pointed out that so-called "carbon sinks", including oceans, have until now absorbed nearly half of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans, but stressed that "this will not necessarily continue in the future."

Five major gases account for 96 percent of the warming of our climate, according to the WMO, which released its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin ahead of a new round of UN climate talks in Doha later this month.

"Between 1990 and 2011, there was a 30 percent increase in radiative forcing—the warming effect on our climate—because of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping long-lived gases," the WMO said.

Methane, produced by natural sources such as wetlands, cattle-rearing and landfills, is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, followed by nitrous oxide, it said.

The WMO said levels of atmospheric methane had reached new highs in 2011, at 1813 ppb.

This is 259 percent above the pre-industrial level, WMO said, blaming mainly human activities like fossil fuel exploitation, cattle breeding, rice agriculture, landfills and biomass burning.

Also worrying was the increase in nitrous oxide levels, the WMO said, since its impact on climate is almost 300 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.

The gas, emitted into the atmosphere from natural and man-made sources, also plays an important role in the destruction of the ozone layer which protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, the WMO said, indicating that its atmospheric concentration in 2011 was about 324.2 ppb, up 1.0 ppb from 2010.

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nappy
1.7 / 5 (20) Nov 20, 2012
Paying attention to anything the UN says is dangerous. They are a communist enterprise dedicated to the destruction of western civilization and individual sovereignty. CO2 is not a pollutant and a rise in both CO2 and global temperature will mean more rain and more plant growth. Resulting in more food.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (19) Nov 20, 2012
So CO2 is soaring, and global temperatures have been flat for the last 15 years. Go figure.
VendicarD
4.2 / 5 (15) Nov 20, 2012
This CO2 problem just doesn't seem to be going away.

This year will come in as the 6th warmest years in recorded history.

VendicarD
4.1 / 5 (14) Nov 20, 2012
As usual, the nappy is full of dung.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (14) Nov 20, 2012
"Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who found himself at the centre of the 'Climategate' scandal over leaked emails three years ago, would not normally be expected to agree with her. Yet on two important points, he did.

The data does suggest a plateau, he admitted..." "'it could go on for a while'."

"Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, last week dismissed the significance of the plateau, saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period from which to draw conclusions."

"Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased."

http://www.dailym...-it.html
djr
4.6 / 5 (11) Nov 20, 2012
Just curious Claudius - why did you not quote the concluding line of the Daily Mail article you referenced? Here i will do it for you -
"So let's be clear. Yes: global warming is real, and some of it at least has been caused by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. But the evidence is beginning to suggest that it may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed " That's a slam dunk against global warming - right?
VendicarD
4.6 / 5 (9) Nov 20, 2012
It is interesting that the Daily Mail trash piece includes the following doctored graphic...

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/10/14/article-2217286-157E3ADF000005DC-561_644x358.jpg

Which is clearly missing some data.

http://www.woodfo...97/trend

So, the British Rag, the Daily Mail is caught in yet another lie.

Surprise.. Surprise...
VendicarD
4.6 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2012
"So lets be clear..." - dir

Yes, the author of that piece of garbage in the Daily Mail Tabloid admits that CO2 enhanced global warming is real, but he has still been caught lying through the dishonest manipulation of the graphic supplied with the article, and in addition through taking comments made by scientists out of context.

Conservative Filth.
Claudius
1.6 / 5 (8) Nov 21, 2012
Just curious Claudius - why did you not quote the concluding line of the Daily Mail article you referenced? Here i will do it for you -
"So let's be clear. Yes: global warming is real, and some of it at least has been caused by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. But the evidence is beginning to suggest that it may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed " That's a slam dunk against global warming - right?


I didn't quote it because I agree with it.

The point was that AGW guru Phil Jones acknowledged that global temperatures have "plateaued" for the last 15 years or so.

I do not deny that there has in the past been a warming trend, and that CO2 may have some small role to play in it. But I think it is incorrect to say that CO2 is the driving force in warming, since CO2 levels lag behind temperature increases.

thermodynamics
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 21, 2012
Claudius: You said: "I do not deny that there has in the past been a warming trend, and that CO2 may have some small role to play in it. But I think it is incorrect to say that CO2 is the driving force in warming, since CO2 levels lag behind temperature increases."

You seem to miss the point that in the past CO2 lagged temperature because it is a feedback mechanism to normal heating. However, humans have changed the calculus and we are increasing the CO2 level ourselves. That means we are now forcing the heat transfer instead of feeding back. Do you understand that we have changed the rule?
Claudius
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 23, 2012
You seem to miss the point that in the past CO2 lagged temperature because it is a feedback mechanism to normal heating. However, humans have changed the calculus and we are increasing the CO2 level ourselves. That means we are now forcing the heat transfer instead of feeding back. Do you understand that we have changed the rule?


Since CO2 is probably the least significant greenhouse gas, is in such low concentrations, and since human activity has a minimal effect on overall CO2 levels, it still makes no sense to point to it as the driving force in warming. Since CO2 levels follow behind temperature changes, it is clear that it is not driving changes in temperature, rather vice versa.

If CO2 were forcing temperature, why have temperatures plateaued for the last 15 years at the same time as CO2 levels have been increasing? Why did temperatures rise in the first half of the 20th century while human CO2 production was still low?

Only the politics have changed.
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 23, 2012
Claudius: Let me take your comments one at a time.

1) "Since CO2 is probably the least significant greenhouse gas," How can you say that? Do you have a reference to any peer reviewed information that says this? Do you know that N2, O2, and Ar are nearly transparent to IR radiation? What does that leave in the atmosphere?

2) "is in such low concentrations," Again, subtract out the N2, O2, and Ar and tell me what is left in the atmosphere.

3) "and since human activity has a minimal effect on overall CO2 levels," What is changing levels other than human activity?

Some peer reviewed sources will be appreciated. Otherwise, you are just repeating nonsense that has no scientific basis. Have you ever read a book on raidant heat transfer? I always suggest "Radiative Heat Transfer" by Modest as a good place to start.
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2012
We need to do something about all of this excess CO2. Here is one realistic approach.

http://youtu.be/PwjvDBU4AD8

VendicarD
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2012
Phil Jones knows that there are numerous similar plateaus in the temperature record yet the overall trend remains positive.

Why don't you?

https://docs.goog...1bUhRQUE

"Phil Jones acknowledged that global temperatures have "plateaued" for the last 15 years or so. " - Claudius

Are you a hillbilly?