The United Nations (UN) weather agency has expressed concerns over the record-high increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
On Thursday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealed that despite efforts to curb the greenhouse gas emission, the atmospheric concentration of the carbon dioxide continues to increase and at a historical rate in 2013.
Figures from WMO's latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the agency's annual bulletin on the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, show that the Earth's atmosphere now has 142 percent more carbon dioxide, 121 percent more nitrous oxide and 253 percent more methane compared in the 1750's during the preindustrial era.
It also revealed the significant impact of greenhouse gases on climate change as these were attributed to 34 percent increase in global warming since the 1990's, as well as noted of the negative consequences of increased carbon dioxide on the oceans, which could lead to increased acidity of seawater that could have a serious effect on marine life.
Concerns are particularly raised on the surging levels of carbon dioxide. Data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index show that carbon dioxide is responsible for about 80 percent of the 34 percent increase in radiative forcing (RF) due to long-lived greenhouse gases for the period between 1990 and 2013. RF is a measure of how energy in the atmosphere is changed because of greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also reached 396 parts per million last year, or a 2.9 percent increase from the 2012 concentration, the largest annual increase since 1984. At this rate, the average carbon dioxide concentration per year could reach 400 parts per million between 2015 and 2016.
"Passing the 400 mark reminds me that we are on an inexorable march to 450 ppm and much higher levels," said Michael Gunson, a project scientist at the U.S. space agency's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite mission. "The world is quickening the rate of accumulation of CO2, and has shown no signs of slowing this down. It should be a psychological tripwire for everyone."
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said that it is undeniable that human activities play a key role in the changing climate and weather conditions. He said that the data from the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reveal that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is far from falling and has actually increased at its fastest rate in a period of 30 years.
"We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board," Jarraud said. "We are running out of time."