CO2 levels to breach 50% rise from pre-industrial era in 2021 -Met Office

Human activity will push concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to levels 50% higher than before the industrial revolution this year, breaching a symbolic climate change threshold, the UK's Met Office forecast on Friday. With 2021 seen as a critical year for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists said the prediction underscored the need for rapid action to slash emissions of CO2 from burning coal, oil and natural gas.

Reuters | Updated: 08-01-2021 05:32 IST | Created: 08-01-2021 05:32 IST
CO2 levels to breach 50% rise from pre-industrial era in 2021 -Met Office

Human activity will push concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to levels 50% higher than before the industrial revolution this year, breaching a symbolic climate change threshold, the UK's Met Office forecast on Friday.

With 2021 seen as a critical year for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists said the prediction underscored the need for rapid action to slash emissions of CO2 from burning coal, oil and natural gas. "The human-caused build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere is accelerating," said Richard Betts, a climate scientist at the Met Office. "It took over 200 years for levels to increase by 25%, but now just over 30 years later we are approaching a 50% increase."

Emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation will cause CO2 to continue to accumulate in the atmosphere in 2021, with concentrations expected to exceed 417 parts per million (ppm) for several weeks from April to June for the first time. That record level would be 50% higher than the concentration of 278 ppm at the dawn of the industrial era in the late 18th century, the Met Office said.

The annual peak is likely to be followed by a cyclical fall as plants growing in the northern hemisphere summer absorb CO2. From September onwards, CO2 levels will resume rising, with the average annual concentration of the greenhouse gas seen at around 416.3 ppm, the Met Office said. CO2 levels have long since passed levels considered safe by climate scientists. At a climate summit in Madrid in December, 2019, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that 400 ppm had once been considered "an unthinkable tipping point."

After falling sharply last spring as economies were hit by the coronavirus, emissions have now mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels, the Met Office said. Nevertheless, the accumulation of C02 is expected to be slightly slower than usual in 2021 since weather patterns linked to a La Niña event should foster a burst of tropical forest growth that will soak up some emissions, the Met Office said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Addressing conflict-related sexual violence at long last

... ...

Why unequal access to coronavirus vaccines is a threat to us all

... ...

India’s love affair with fossil fuels: the path to sustainable development?

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Pope visits Iraq's war-ravaged north on last day of tour

Pope Francis arrived in northern Iraq on Sunday, where he planned to pray in the ruins of churches damaged or destroyed by Islamic State extremists and celebrate an open-air Mass on the last day of the first-ever papal visit to the country....

MFs selling spree continues; withdraw 16,306 cr from equities in Feb on profit booking

Mutual funds pulled out Rs 16,306 crore from equities in February, making it the ninth consecutive monthly outflow as small investors booked profit amid a rally in stock markets.Gopal Kavalireddi, head of research at FYERS, said this trend ...

PVR to invest Rs 150 cr to add 30-40 screens next fiscal; eyes 1,000 screens by FY23

Multiplex major PVR plans to invest Rs 150 crore to open up to 40 screens across the country in the next fiscal.The companys target of having 1,000 operational screens has been pushed by a year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic t...

Silver: NBA may return to normal in ''21-22, virus permitting

The NBA is expecting arenas to be filled again next season and a return to its normal calendar, Commissioner Adam Silver said, while cautioning again that every plan is contingent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the coron...

Give Feedback