photo- Top News Singapore
The Global warming threat is increasing, according to the latest release by Secretary General Michel Jarraud, of the World Meteorological Organization, on November 20 th . WMO, The United Nations weather agency, said the level of carbon dioxide, the emission gas blamed most for the changes in world climate due to human activity -- reached an all time high of 390 parts per million, measured in the atmosphere. WMO has sources in 50 countries collecting data, and 190 member countries.
Changes caused by human induced activity is referred to as "anthropogenic" factors. China is the largest anthropogenic contributor to the CO2 emissions, with an increase of 720 million tons of CO2 gasses released in 2011.
The top 3 culprits of industrial-related and anthropogenic atmospheric gas emissions are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. These 3 "greenhouse gasses" accumulate in the upper atmosphere zone as a result of deforestation, industrial waste, and fossil fuel usage and consumption.
Methane gas levels rose to a record level of 1813 ppb, the highest on record since the data surveys began. Nitrous oxide reached a new record level of 324 ppb. Although levels of concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide were not as high as CO2, their impact on the radiating effect on the atmosphere and on climate change is much higher. The impact of nitrous oxide on the atmosphere is estimated to be 300 times higher than CO2. Two other levels of gas emissions that are on the increase are hydro-fluorocarbons, and sulfur hexaflouride.
The latest figures reflect the surveys taken in 2011, as posted in the WMOs report. Every year, for the past 8 years, the WMOs Greenhouse Gas Bulletin posts figures in a report on greenhouse gasses which influence the "forcing" of the upper atmosphere. This forcing causes increased infrared radiation that leads to the warming of the planets lower surface. The effects of global warming include rises in sea level, an increase in ocean heat, rise in humidity, and increased melting of glaciers and ice. The rise in global temperature since industrialization began is said to be 1.4 F degrees, with most of the increase occurring since 1980.
In addition, according to the International Energy Agency, the amount of accumulated carbon-dioxide emissions reached a record level of 31 gigatons in 2011, breaking the record levels set in 2010, and 2008. The WMO stated that billions of tons of carbon-dioxide (CO2) will stay in the upper atmosphere for hundred of years.
Jarraud added that "the oceans are becoming more acidic", which means that the abundance of carbon dioxide released into the air is continuing to dissolve into the oceans, lakes, and rivers. The ocean, which is referred to as a "carbon sink", has absorbed at least half of the accumulated carbon dioxide waste, and Jarraud thinks it will "not necessarily continue in the future". It is estimated that 30% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean, and this acidification is already suspected to be disrupting the ecosystem.
Ironically, the latest Yale poll in 2011 found that only 47% of Americans attribute global warming to human activity, which is considerably less than the percentage of scientists who attribute global warming to anthropogenic causes.