in News Departments > FYI
print the content item

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2011, according to a recent report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Between 1990 and 2011, there was a 30% increase in radiative forcing - the warming effect on our climate - because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases.

Since the start of the industrial era in 1750, about 375 billion tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere as CO2, primarily from fossil-fuel combustion, according to the WMO report. About half of this CO2 remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial biosphere.

“These billions of tons of additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on all aspects of life on earth,” notes WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “Future emissions will only compound the situation.”

The report focuses on atmospheric concentrations - and not emissions - of greenhouse gases. (Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere; concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions among the atmosphere, biosphere and oceans.)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, quoted in the WMO report, shows that from 1990 to 2011, radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases increased by 30%, with CO2 accounting for about 80% of this increase. Total radiative forcing of all long-lived greenhouse gases was the CO2 equivalent of 473 parts per million in 2011, the report adds.


IowaDeptEconDevel_id1863

Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.

Acciona_id1907
UEA_id1896
WomenofWind_id
JLG_id1900
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913