Report: Heat-Trapping Gases in the Atmosphere

Recently the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has published a report related to heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Let us read about the key findings of this report and learn about the terms related to it.

What is the conclusion of the report?

The report has revealed some significant results. Despite an approximately 5.6% drop in fossil total CO₂ emission in 2020 because of a pandemic. The level of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere broke all the previous records. Now let us consider the essential terminologies.

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are the gases released by carbon emissions. These gases encourage global warming and cause an increase in the Earth’s average temperature. Examples of greenhouse gases are Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide, and CFCs.

What is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)?

WMO expands for the World Meteorological Organization. It is an intergovernmental and international organization. This specialized agency of the UN deals with meteorology, operational hydrology and related geophysical factors.

What is the meaning of CO₂ emissions?

This may be defined as the amount of CO₂ released due to human activities.

What is global warming?

Global warming may be defined as the process of increasing the Earth’s average temperature due to human activities and greenhouse gases.

What are the key findings of the report?

The WMO’s report has concluded the following facts.

  • The net concentration of carbon dioxide reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020.
  • This concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 149% of the pre-industrial level.
  • The methane (CH4) concentration in the atmosphere is 262% higher than its level in 1750.
  • On the same scale, the concentration of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) was 123% of its level when human activities started on the Earth.
  • The lockdown phase and economic slowdown phase of Pandemic due to Covid-19 have not left any distinguishable impact on the level of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Though, a temporary decline was seen in new emissions of greenhouse gases. This was primarily because of the lockdown.
  • Compared to 1990, the net greenhouse res level has increased by 47%.
  • CO₂ alone is responsible for 80% of this increase.
  • The ability of land ecosystems and oceans to act as sinks has decreased in recent times.
  • The increase in greenhouse gases level in the atmosphere is directly or indirectly responsible for the ecological imbalance.
  • The heat trapped by greenhouse gases has disturbed the natural equilibrium of the Earth.

What are the consequences of an increased level of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere?

The increase in the level of greenhouse gases has the following crucial outcomes:

  • Due to excess heat trapped inside the Earth, the average
  • temperature of Earth is increasing day by day.
  • The average temperature of Earth is expected to increase by 2 degrees Celcius than the pre-industrial levels.
  • Global Warming, Pollution and GreenHouse gases can together result in more weather extremes.
  • These weather extremes include Intense heat and rainfall, ice melt, sea-level rise and ocean
  • rise.
  • The primary consequence is that Global Warming reduces the ability of and ecosystems and the ocean to act as a buffer against more considerable temperature increases.
  • Ecological balance is another necessary consequence.

Initiatives taken:

Different nations have taken measures suitable to their needs and requirements. International initiatives many countries are:

  1. Setting carbon neutral targets.
  2. Climate conference COP26 concerning the issue is about to be tabled.
  3. Different UN measures and organization has been set up to deal with global warming.

The Indian Government has also taken several initiatives related to the issue. Following Indian initiatives has by the organization in the direction.

  1. Changes in India’s Ethanol Plan
  2. Different Afforestation Schemes
  3. India Greenhouse Gas Program
  4. Seaweed-Based Animal Feed

A Way Forward

The level of CO₂ in the atmosphere is already at its peak. Even if there are no or net-zero carbon emissions in the coming years, the current level of CO₂ will persist. And it is high time for the globe to understand its responsibility towards climate change and the environment. Climate change is a primary concern nowadays, and the main reason behind global warming is greenhouse gases. Steps must be taken in the direction. The use of carbon releasing machines must be reduced. The burning of fossil fuels should also be reduced. Afforestation should be done on a large scale. Sustainable development should be the goal of significant public and industrial development.

The Earth can be turned into a better place to live by following the specific steps mentioned above.