UN agency finds greenhouse gases hit record levels in 2018

UN agency finds greenhouse gases hit record levels in 2018
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Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached record highs in 2018, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a report released Monday.

The Guardian reports the findings from the United Nations agency show the increases in key climate-heating greenhouse gases measured in 2018 were all above the average for the last decade.

“There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, despite all the commitments under the Paris agreement on climate change. We need to increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of mankind,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement accompanying the report.

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He added that it “is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of carbon dioxide was 3-5m years ago. Back then, the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than now.”

The report noted that the gap between emissions targets and the most recent findings were both “glaring and growing,” underscoring the fact that more needs to be done on the issue.

The global average concentration of carbon dioxide reached 407.8 parts per million (ppm) in 2018, up from 405.5ppm in 2017, the report found.

The findings come after the Trump administration this month made official its move to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

The international agreement called on participating countries to commit to making sure global warming stayed “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The agreement signed in 2015 by former President Obama called on the U.S. to reduce emissions about 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 to be in compliance.