Climate Change

Atmospheric greenhouse gases up 20% since 2000

Times Live 21 November 2012.

The report by the UN Environment Program, says the concentration of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is up about 20 percent since 2000.

The report, which was released just days ahead of a major climate conference,  reminded world governments that their efforts to fight climate change are far from enough to meet their stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

Scientists say those emissions are contributing to climate change and that failure to contain them could have dangerous consequences, including rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.

Emissions levels, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, need to come down by 14 percent by 2020 for the world to reach a pathway that could keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels, UNEP said. That’s the stated goal of U.N. climate negotiations, which resume next week in Doha, Qatar.

But it won’t happen if countries don’t come ahead with more ambitious plans to cut emissions than what’s currently on the table…

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