published on 23 November 2018 in air
New record for CO2 in the atmosphere
Just a few days from the inauguration of Cop 24 – the United Nations World Conference on Climate due to be held in Katowice, Poland, from 3 to 14 December – a new alarm has arrived from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), according to which the concentration of greenhouse gases is thought to have reached a new record. In fact, according to the new data, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere reached 405.5 parts per million during 2017, against 403.3 ppm in the previous year and 400.1 in 2015. Compared to the pre-industrial period, the concentration of CO2 has therefore increased by 146%. Similar concentrations of CO2 were present on our planet in the period from 3 to 5 million years ago: in those times the temperature was 2-3°C higher than today, and the level of the seas was from 10 to 20 metres higher. Researchers say that there are two other greenhouse gases, besides carbon dioxide, that have reached a new record. These are methane, which is the second most important climate-altering gas, the presence of which is 257% higher than in the pre-industrial period, and CFC-11 (trichlorofluoromethane), harmful also for the ozone layer.
The scientific data are clear: if we do not rapidly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly emissions of CO2, climate changes will cause irreversible changes on our planet.