This news was made as the United Nations climate bureau warned that the world is still far from reaching its goal of reducing emissions in international efforts to limit global warming.
These announcements were made days before the U.N. conference on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland. Many scientists, policymakers, and environmental activists believe that the Oct. 31-Nov.12 event, also known as COP26, is an important and crucial opportunity to make concrete commitments towards the Paris climate agreement targets.
"The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin contains a strong, scientific message to climate change negotiators attending COP26," Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of World Meteorological Organization, said about his agency's annual report regarding heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere. "At the current rate that greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing, we will see an increase in temperature by the end this century well beyond the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5-2 degrees Celsius (2.7-3.6 Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels).
The report states that concentrations of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide were all higher than they were in the preindustrial period before 1750 when human activities "started to disrupt Earth's natural equilibrium."
This report is based on data from a network that monitors greenhouse gas levels after they have been absorbed by the oceans or the biosphere.
The report by the Geneva-based agency pointed out a worrying development. Parts of Amazon rainforest are now a carbon sink that absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to become a source of carbon dioxide due to reduced humidity.
Taalas stated that one of the most striking messages in our report was that the Amazonian, once a region of carbon sinks, has now become a source. Deforestation is the reason. It is especially due to changes in the global climate. We get less rainfall and humidity."
Oksana Tarasova is the chief of WMO’s atmospheric and environmental research division. He said that the first results showing the Amazon moving from source to sink were unique, but that they were only from the southeastern Amazon.
Worse, 2030 emissions are expected to be 16% more than 2010 based on formal pledges.
The U.N. stated that such an increase could lead to a temperature jump of around 2.7C (4.9F) by century's end if it is not addressed quickly.
Experts stated that global warming must be capped at 2C by 2030, and not more than 1.5C by the mid-century.
Patricia Espinosa who is the head of the U.N.'s climate office, stated that "overshooting the temperature targets will lead to a unstable world and endless suffering, particularly among those who have contributed least to the GHG emissions to the atmosphere."
She added, "We are not anywhere near what science says we should,"
Alok Sharma will be the U.N. representative in Glasgow. He stated that progress has been made since 2015's Paris agreement, when projections of emissions cuts indicated that there would be a warming of up to 4C.
According to WMO's report, the global average carbon dioxide concentration, which is the main greenhouse gas of the atmosphere, reached 413.2 parts per millions last year. WMO reported that the 2020 increase was greater than the average annual carbon dioxide concentration over the past decade, despite a 5.6% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.
Taalas stated that a level of 400 parts per million, which was breached by Taalas in 2015, "has major negative consequences for our daily lives and well being, the state of the planet and the future of our children's and grandchildren."
The warming effect of the climate is almost two-thirds due to human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. These are mainly caused by burning fossil fuels such as oil or cement. WMO stated that the economic recession caused by the pandemic did not have an impact on the atmospheric levels or growth rates of greenhouse gases. However, there was a temporary decrease in new emissions.