LEVELS of greenhouse gases reached new heights in 2013, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Furthermore, it has been revealed that the increase of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is happening at a rate that has not been seen for 30 years, and acidity levels in the world’s oceans are unprecedented.
In a statement issued by WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, he said: “We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
“Past, present and future CO2 emissions will have a cumulative impact on both global warming and ocean acidification. The laws of physics are non-negotiable; we are running out of time.”
Scientists believe that global warming’s main cause is due in large part to the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. In 2013 CO2 levels were measured at 396 parts per million, 2.9 parts per million more than in 2012, and the biggest increase that has been seen in the last 30 years.
Methane, the second most significant greenhouse gas, has continued to rise steadily for the last five years. It is currently at a level of 1,824 parts per billion.
Warming is measured by comparing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the earth with that amount of energy that the planet gives off back into space.
In 2010 the United Nations set out intentions to keep global warming within a range of two degrees Celsius, a feat which is still possible with current knowledge, Jarraud said.
He added: “Pleading ignorance can no longer be an excuse for not acting.