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article imageCarbon dioxide levels in 2018 reach highest levels ever recorded

By Karen Graham     Nov 26, 2019 in Environment
Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2018, according to a report released Monday. Carbon dioxide levels reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017.
Levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This grim assessment comes just a few days before the UN Climate Change Conference that begins in Madrid on December 2, 2019.
The report also comes just weeks after President Donald Trump began officially pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords, an agreement reached by nearly 200 member-nations to set limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to CBS News.
It has been over three million years since the Earth's atmosphere has contained concentrations of carbon dioxide comparable to what we have today. At that time, temperatures were about 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer and sea levels were up to 20 meters (65 feet) higher than they are today.
"There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the WMO, in a press release, reports CNet.
“We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of mankind.”
The release of the WMO report on carbon dioxide levels came one day before the UN Environment Programme released its report warning that if global GHG emissions don’t decrease by 7.6 percent every year in the next decade the world will not be on track to reach the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.
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