The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a press statement today, in which they warn about the rise in atmospheric greenhouse gases during the last few years. Despite the economic crisis, which slowed down the industry a bit, the gas concentration rose in 2009, driving Earth towards a sure warming in the near future.
“The main long-lived greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have reached their highest recorded levels since the beginning of the industrial age, and this despite the recent economic slowdown,” WMO Deputy Secretary-General Jeremiah Lengoasa told a briefing.
The organization also says that even if we stopped emissions completely it would take another 100 years to eliminate the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, contributing 63.5 percent of total radiative forcing, has increased by 38 percent since 1750. The increased is due to the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and changes in land use.
A feedback loop effect is also in action right now, WMO researchers say. Because of the warming, polar glaciers melt and release methane, a gas more potent than carbon dioxide regarding its greenhouse effect, further contributing to the warming. Increased rainfall on wetlands (themselves caused by global warming) also release methane, feeding the process.
These natural emissions that rose sharply after a ten year period of no growth, will accelerate the global warming even further. There are researchers who say only natural gases could have caused the warming, but this one seems the most plausible variant – we drove and accelerated the whole process. Without us, humans, it may have triggered itself several thousands of years from now.