The presence of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere last year reached its highest levels since pre-industrial times, a report released by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns recently. Even if we managed to halt our greenhouse gas emissions today, and this is far from the case, they would continue to linger in the atmosphere for decades to come and so continue to affect the delicate balance of our living planet and our climate. The latest edition of WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin also notes that the rate of increase of greenhouse gases has recently accelerated. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are the three main contributors to greenhouse gasses, with carbon dioxide’s atmospheric abundance rising by 39 per cent since the start of the industrial era in about 1750. According to the same report, the 20 years to 2010 saw a 29 per cent increase in radiative forcing, the warming effect the gases have on the Earth’s climate, from greenhouse gases, with carbon dioxide accounting for 80 per cent of this increase. Human activities, such as fossil fuel burning and agriculture, are major emitters of greenhouse gases, which trap radiation within the Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to warm and spur climate change. Because of that, our globe is undergoing major changes at an unbelievable rate. We can see from satellite images and research that the ice caps are melting faster, our sea levels are rising, and weather patterns are changing. We are experiencing more water shortages and we will see hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones increasing in ferocity and frequency. The deserts will expand and the world will ultimately have difficulty growing enough food. Without doubt, we have to change the way we live. Thousands of scientists from a hundred countries are working ways to reduce greenhouse gases and make a less harmful impact on the environment. The growing awareness of the greenhouse...
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