In what will come as a surprise to almost no one, 2012 was another record year for the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Breaking records every year for the greenhouse gases that cause climate change make it less likely than we humans can slow or reverse the effects of human-caused climate change and keep global warming within the 2-degree-Celsius target, set at a Copenhagen summit in 2009. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, speaking at a press conference ahead of next week's UN conference to work on emissions cuts, said: "The increase in CO2 is mostly due to human activities. The actions we take now or don't take now will have consequences for a very, very long period. Even if we were able to stop today -- we know it's not possible -- the ocean would continue to warm and to expand and the sea level would continue to rise for hundreds of years."