Greenhouse Gas Content In The Atmosphere Reaches Record Levels

Video: Greenhouse Gas Content In The Atmosphere Reaches Record Levels

Video: Greenhouse Gas Content In The Atmosphere Reaches Record Levels
Video: Greenhouse Gases Hit Record Level-WMO 2023, May
Greenhouse Gas Content In The Atmosphere Reaches Record Levels
Greenhouse Gas Content In The Atmosphere Reaches Record Levels
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The carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere in 2016 reached 403.3 ppm (parts per million), which is almost a percent higher than in 2015. This value is the highest in the last 800 thousand years, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Over the past decades, numerous measurements show that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing every year. Measurements are now carried out using hundreds of different sensors located both at ground stations around the planet and on ships or aircraft. The anthropogenic factor and natural climatic processes, in particular the influence of El Niño - fluctuations in the temperature of the surface water layers in the Pacific Ocean, are called possible reasons for the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide. Thus, the latest data obtained from the orbiting carbon observatory OCO-2 indicate that it is El Niño that has become the main reason for the sharp increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the past few years.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the content of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere in 2016 increased and reached its record values. Thus, the world average value of the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 403.3 ppm. This figure is 0.83 percent more than last year. According to data on the content of carbon dioxide over the past 800 thousand years, obtained from the analysis of Antarctic ice cores, during this period, the content of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere fluctuated between 180 and 280 ppm - the level of the pre-industrial era, and began to rise sharply only at the end of the XVIII century. Therefore, the value achieved in 2016 is a record for this period. The rate of increase in concentration several times reached a similar level, but then there were periods of decrease in concentration. And the current level of carbon dioxide concentration was observed about one million years ago and earlier.

It is worth noting that in recent decades, not only the content of carbon dioxide has been growing, but also the rate of increase in concentration. So, in the 1960s, on average, the CO2 content in the atmosphere increased by 0.6 ppm annually, but now the average rate is up to 2 ppm per year. At the same time, however, since 2000, the rate of increase in the concentration of CO2 has reached an approximately constant value and only in the last two to three years has slightly increased due to the increase in El Niño activity.

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Dynamics of changes in concentration and rate of its growth for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere

The concentration of other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitric oxide (I), is also increasing. In 2016, methane increased 0.5 percent to 1,853 ppb and nitrous oxide increased 0.24 percent to 329 ppb.

To assess the possible impact of anthropogenic factors on the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the values are often compared with those that were in the pre-industrial era in 1750. Since then, carbon dioxide levels have increased by 45 percent, methane levels by 157 percent, and nitrous oxide levels by 22 percent.

In order to somehow slow down the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, scientists have proposed various methods. For example, the Icelanders recently upgraded one of their power plants. So it can now capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and is thus the first CO2-negative power plant. In addition, scientists propose converting carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere into other substances, such as methyl alcohol.

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