United Nations agency: Carbon dioxide concentrations grew at record rate in 2016

United Nations agency: Carbon dioxide concentrations grew at record rate in 2016

United Nations agency: Carbon dioxide concentrations grew at record rate in 2016

The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere last year was at its highest level in nearly a million years.

"Without rapid cuts in Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions, we will be heading for unsafe temperature increases by the end of this century", WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in the statement.

Scientists say this risks making global temperature targets largely unattainable.

Speaking to BBC News, Professor Euan Nisbet from Royal Holloway University of London said this was not expected in the Paris Agreement.

An area in the Uppards called Canaan where erosion has taken away what was once a settlement area with homes in Tangier, Virginia.

The 403-parts per million of CO₂ in the atmosphere, is the highest it's been in 800-thousand years, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

It's unknown just how much of this record-breaking upswing is due to El Niño, which triggers droughts that reduce the ability of natural carbon sinks like forests to absorb CO2 - but it's clear that the rest of this unprecedented surge falls squarely on humanity's shoulders.

The abrupt changes in the Earth's atmosphere that have taken place over the past 70 years are without precedent, while rapidly increasing levels of greenhouse gases have the potential to cause significant changes in climate systems, the WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin says.

The last time concentrations of carbon dioxide were so high was 3-5 million years ago when temperatures were 2-3°C warmer than they are now and sea levels were 10-20 metres higher. We do not understand why methane is rising.

"The numbers don't lie".

"We are still emitting far too much and this needs to be reversed". We have numerous solutions already to address this challenge.

The report has been issued just a week ahead of the next instalment of United Nations climate talks, in Bonn.

"This all demonstrates that there is some urgent need to raise the ambition level of climate mitigation, if we are serious with this 1.5 to 2C target of Paris Agreement". Despite the declaration by President Trump that he intends to take the U.S. out of the deal, negotiators meeting in Germany will be aiming to advance and clarify the rulebook of the Paris agreement.

Related news