Greenhouse gas levels reach new record high
Levels of greenhouse gases that are the main contributor to climate change hit a new high last year, the United Nations said yesterday.
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is responsible for about 80pc of global warming, exceeded the average annual increase of the past decade, according to the UN's World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
The levels of both methane and nitrous oxide also hit record highs last year, a report found.
"There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," Petteri Taalas, head of the WMO, said.
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The report was released in the lead-up to next month's climate summit in Madrid where member states will discuss ways of keeping global warming below 2C.
The 195 signatories of the 2015 Paris pact have already agreed to work towards limiting warming to 1.5C, the level the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is necessary to limit the devastating impact of droughts, floods and destruction of biodiversity.
A study from the UN Environment Programme also shows that greenhouse gas emissions have increased yet again in the past year.
Global average concentrations of CO2 reached 407.8 parts per million last year, an increase from 405.5ppm in 2017. (© Daily Telegraph, London)