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UN Warns of 'Destructive and Irreversible Impacts' as Greenhouse Gases Hit Level Not Seen for Millions of Years
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=41156"><span class="small">Harry Cockburn, The Independent</span></a>   
Friday, 23 November 2018 09:18

Cockburn writes: "The greenhouse gases driving climate change have reached highs not seen in at least 3 million years, prompting UN scientists to warn the 'window of opportunity' to tackle emissions is rapidly closing."

Power plant. (photo: AP)
Power plant. (photo: AP)

UN Warns of 'Destructive and Irreversible Impacts' as Greenhouse Gases Hit Level Not Seen for Millions of Years

By Harry Cockburn, The Independent

23 November 18

‘The urgency and extent of the actions needed to address climate change have not sunk in’

he greenhouse gases driving climate change have reached highs not seen in at least 3 million years, prompting UN scientists to warn the “window of opportunity” to tackle emissions is rapidly closing.

Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are all still on the rise, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said, and there has been a resurgence in ozone-depleting CFCs.

“The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of carbon dioxide was 3-5 million years ago, when the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now,” said WMO secretary general, Petteri Taalas.

In its annual bulletin on greenhouse gas levels, the WMO said there is no sign of a reversal in the trend in increasing emissions which are driving climate change, sea level rises, extreme weather and making oceans more acidic.

“The science is clear,” Mr Taalas said. “Without rapid cuts in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, climate change will have increasingly destructive and irreversible impacts on life on Earth.

“The window of opportunity for action is almost closed.”

Average concentrations of carbon dioxide hit new highs of 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015 – 2.5 times the pre-industrial revolution concentration.

“CO2 remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and in the oceans for even longer. There is currently no magic wand to remove all the excess CO2 from the atmosphere,” said WMO deputy secretary-general Elena Manaenkova.

“Every fraction of a degree of global warming matters, and so does every part per million of greenhouse gases,” she said.

Levels of methane have soared to 3.5 times their pre-industrial levels, with emissions largely coming from cattle, rice paddy fields and oil and gas leaks.

Farming methods including use of fertilizers is largely behind the rise in nitrous oxide, which has doubled since the pre-industrial era.

The latest findings come after a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found net emissions of carbon dioxide must reach zero by around 2050 to keep temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and reduce the risks of climate change.

IPCC chairman Hoesung Lee said: “The new IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5C shows that deep and rapid reductions of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be needed in all sectors of society and the economy.

“The WMO greenhouse gas bulletin, showing a continuing rising trend in concentrations of greenhouse gases, underlines just how urgent these emissions reductions are.”

Professor Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said she was “not surprised but I am very concerned” the major greenhouse gases are rising unabated.

“It seems the urgency and extent of the actions needed to address climate change have not sunk in.

“Low-carbon technologies like wind, solar, and electric transport need to become mainstream, with old-fashion polluting fossils pushed out rapidly,” she said.

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Last Updated on Friday, 23 November 2018 10:35


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+2 # tedrey 2018-11-23 11:25
Let's put the bulk of the capital of all major producers of greenhouse gases in accounts which they will only be able to access if and when the amount in the atmosphere begins to decrease.
-16 # BKnowswhitt 2018-11-23 13:21
World think Progresso Think One World think driven by the elites of Europe brought to america by extremers and gamers like Al Gore said this very shit 20 years ago .. none of it happened .. then attached the preposterous unproven and false claim that CO2 is changing the climate .. complete horseshit .. politico speak run by elite media .. misinforming us all and getting ready to behaviourally force it down all of our throats .. it should be dealt with viciously .. like we did in the past to all false extemism .. like Nazism .. these people start out innocently seemingly .. and then it grows ..
+1 # Texas Aggie 2018-11-23 13:56
"none of it happened"

You can't be serious. Even you should know that the Arctic ice cap has melted almost to the point of disappearing and that the jet streams are slowing down and becoming erratic because of Arctic warming. You must be aware that the Gulf Stream is undergoing change related to warming and to melting of the freshwater glaciers in Greenland.

As a matter of fact it is happening even before it was originally predicted. We weren't supposed to lose this much ice until some 50 years from now, but it is happening now. A few years back the deniers made a big noise about a prediction that the glaciers in the Himalayas would be gone soon, and now it looks like it really is happening.

I know. We should let this person scream into the wind, but it hurts me as a science teacher to let this pile of garbage go unanswered. Scientists ignoring these people is partly what has brought us to these straits, not only involving creationism but also antivaccination , and anti science in all its forms.
0 # draypoker 2018-11-24 03:15
Over and over you are posting nonsense. It doesn't become sensible by multiple repetition.
0 # BKnowswhitt 2018-11-23 13:51
Europe is almost 100% nuclear power so they decry and demonize driving it on us .. We have gone to .. truth is CO2 is only .001% of the atmosphere .. goes into ionisphere .. does not effect weather in any radical way .. and also world temp not increasing .. the Warmanista liars have been gaming that .. adding up marginal within the Scientific Margin of Error last 10 years .. adding the .03 percent increase .. which is NO CHANGE in global temps .. adding that up to show a couple degree increase to global temp which is a complete contivance and LIE .. why would they do this? How come they are so rabid as in this article. Why are they using the politics of fear like this to drive their view? See it before folks .. been going on for centuries .. man to rule over man .. won't happen in this country .. the system will not allow it .. anarchy to the masses driven by extreme liars such as these ..