Greenhouse Gas Concentrations in the Atmosphere Reach New Record

Global Warming? Image191: DreamstimeThat's the headline on the World Meteorological Organization's press release for its latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin report issued just before the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP-19) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes later this month in Warsaw. The release notes:

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2012, continuing an upward and accelerating trend which is driving climate change and will shape the future of our planet for hundreds and thousands of years.

The World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that between 1990 and 2012 there was a 32% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.

Carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil fuel-related emissions, accounted for 80% of this increase. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2011 to 2012 was higher than its average growth rate over the past ten years, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

Since the start of the industrial era in 1750, the global average concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 41%, methane by 160% and nitrous oxide by 20%. What is happening in the atmosphere is one part of a much wider picture. Only about half of the CO2 emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed in the biosphere and in the oceans.

Interestingly, the GHG Bulletin notes that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased by 32 percent since 1990. Yet global average temperatures have been more or less flat for the last 15 years. Curious.

Heads up: I will be writing daily dispatches from the COP-19 in Warsaw from November 18 to its end on November 22.

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  • Sevo||

    "Interestingly, the GHG Bulletin notes that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased by 32 percent since 1990. Yet global average temperatures have been more or less flat for the last 15 years."

    This is looking like a mistaken proxy; similar to say medical insurance as a measure of health. And for the same reasons...

  • wareagle||

    if you your temperature, you can keep it.

  • wareagle||

    if you LIKE your....

  • Sevo||

    I got it without the correction, but stated that way, now I'm nervous!

  • Jayburd||

    A new record? Really? How's about a report on record corruption at the U.N. once in awhile? HIDE THE DECLINE!

  • Live Free or Diet||

    These aren't the droids you're looking for... The Climate Change scandal turned out to be nothing... Squawk like a chicken and do The Locomotive with me...

  • Zeb||

    Did you read past the headline.

    And is corruption at the UN really news?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    between 1990 and 2012 there was a 32% increase in radiative forcing

    +32% Shouldn't I be able to make barbecue just by leaving a pork shoulder out on the lawn? Why do I bother with the charcoal and wood?

  • OldMexican||

    Interestingly, the GHG Bulletin notes that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased by 32 percent since 1990. Yet global average temperatures have been more or less flat for the last 15 years. Curious.


    You're just saying that because you dislike the president.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Global warming 'pause' may last for 20 more years and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover
    Study says warmer temperatures are largely due to natural 300-year cycles
    Actual increase in last 17 years lower than almost every prediction
    Scientists likened continuing pause to a Mexican wave in a stadium

    The 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last into the 2030s and the Arctic sea ice has already started to recover, according to new research.

    A paper in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics – by Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr Marcia Wyatt – amounts to a stunning challenge to climate science orthodoxy.

    Not only does it explain the unexpected pause, it suggests that the scientific majority – whose views are represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – have underestimated the role of natural cycles and exaggerated that of greenhouse gases. ...

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but... Consensus!

  • Ron Bailey||

    L,J and the rest of you who are concerned about AGW:

    I am reading through the paper which does not say that AGW is not happening, but that the climate models must take into account the internal variability described in the paper in order to increase the accuracy of their projections. That being said, the upshot is that the models likely run "too hot." My look at the IPCC climate models here. More on this later.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Ron Bailey,

    I am reading through the paper which does not say that AGW is not happening,


    It still points out to a very serious matter which is bandwaggon thinking, Ron. How many times have we heard 'the science is settled'?

  • Sevo||

    "It still points out to a very serious matter which is bandwaggon thinking, Ron. How many times have we heard 'the science is settled'?"

    At the very least, it should inject a large dose of humility into those promoting massive changes in the economy.

  • sarcasmic||

    At the very least, it should inject a large dose of humility into those promoting massive changes in the economy.

    That's assuming that they want those changes because of climate change. I don't believe that's the case. They want to change the economy so they can control people. Climate change is only an excuse.

  • C. Anacreon||

    This. Since Galileo's time no one has been trying to demand that "the science is settled" on anything until global warming. No legitimate scientist would ever say that -- it is the opposite of the scientific method, for crying out loud.

    The people who want the "science settled" are statists who find AGW a particularly good reason to implement every one of their pet policies.

  • sarcasmic||

    No legitimate scientist would ever say that -- it is the opposite of the scientific method, for crying out loud.

    Exactly. Science is a never ending search, not an excuse to crush debate.

  • OldMexican||

    Not only does it explain the unexpected pause, it suggests that the scientific majority – whose views are represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – have underestimated the role of natural cycles and exaggerated that of greenhouse gases.


    No! You think?

    You know, those government grants don't give themselves! You think it was just a fluke when Barry lied to get his signature legislation passed? Nah-ah! Most of those dealing with government know how the game is played!

  • wareagle||

    heresy. Ga Tech's accreditation must be now questioned.
    /algore

  • Cytotoxic||

    We've only had one year of increased Arctic ice. Lets not get ahead of ourselves.

  • OldMexican||

    Only about half of the CO2 emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed in the biosphere and in the oceans.


    We're double the sinners we thought we were! We should be lucky that Gaia covers for us half the time!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Heads up: I will be writing daily dispatches from the COP-19 in Warsaw from November 18 to its end on November 22."

    You'd think they'd schedule these things so they happen somewhere sweltering. The average high in Warsaw for November is 41 degrees Fahrenheit. ...and I understand the temperature's been holding steady, there, for fifteen years.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Hopefull algore will be there. If so, Warsaw temps will probably dip around 25F.

    I think it was COP16 that was in Cancun and they saw the lowest temperature for December EVER. Several of my co-workers went along with Gore and were planning on warm temps and nice weather. I had to work really hard to stifle my giggles that week.

  • Sevo||

    "I had to work really hard to stifle my giggles that week."

    You shouldn't have. You shoulda gotten them all down parkas and howled with laughter!

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I would have loved to, but I'm fairly certain I would have been fired immediately. Someone did make a good humored joke about not sending Al to the conferences anymore, and it DID NOT go over well. I've seen gay people farting in baptist churches that got a warmer welcome.

    Yes, this is how far removed from reality these people are. They can't even let a bad joke about the "Gore Effect" pass without being offended and demanding silence on the topic. I think they realize how flimsy their cause had become and ANY dissent at all, even a joke, had to be suppressed to prevent any doubt from creeping in.

  • Sevo||

    "I think they realize how flimsy their cause had become and ANY dissent at all, even a joke, had to be suppressed to prevent any doubt from creeping in."

    Symptomatic of religious belief.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    My thoughts exactly, Sevo.

    Sometimes, the "its like a religion" meme is overused, but this is not the case with CAGW. I really didn't realize the level of indoctrination until I actually worked for the nutjobs.

    I grew up very involved in the Christian community. I saw the exact same patterns of behavior that I witnessed in the church as I did in algore's followers. It was a bit disgusting to watch the self deception, the proselytizing, and the admonishment of disbelief. The saddest part is that I met a lot of fellow atheists there who had done nothing but replace one god for another.

  • Sevo||

    "The saddest part is that I met a lot of fellow atheists there who had done nothing but replace one god for another."

    Like your comment about 'it's a religion', I think the term "atheist" is overused.
    Just because you don't bleeve in one of the Mosaic religions doesn't mean you're not a bleever.
    For instance, the term 'earth mother' has nothing to do with a scientific world view; it is simply one more religious claim.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Aye. And although I reject the statement that "atheism is just another religion" as flat out ridiculous, I concur that some that call themselves atheists ARE religious about something. Like AGW.

    You could argue that the term atheist boiled down to it's basest of definitions simply means someone who does not adhere to any defined religion. That a lack of religion does not preclude someone from believing in a higher power. You could say that Deists are atheists because they don't have an organized religious dogma. This, of course, is not what is generally meant by the term.

    The term "atheist" is overused, however. I've met people who claim to be atheists that believe in ghosts and an eternal soul of some kind. This is contrary to what is generally accepted as atheist.

    When I call myself an atheist, I'm really saying that I don't take anything on faith. If something can't be verified by empirical testing, I am skeptical of it. I don't preclude the possibility that it may exist and that evidence of it simply hasn't been found. You can't prove a negative after all.

  • ||

    I had to work really hard to stifle my giggles that week.

    I'm having a hard time believing that you had any success with that.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I did have to go take a few extra smoke breaks to get it out and text a few of my friends about it. One thing that job taught me extremely well, though, was how to hide my true thoughts without actually ever agreeing with someone. I feel I'm qualified to be a politician now.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Indeed, if as the article says, global nitrous oxide has increased by 20%, you are probably trying to stifle giggles all the time.

  • Hyperion||

    Here's my perception, for what it's worth.

    We just had the latest spring, latest frost, and latest snow in Maryland since I have lived here, and those all went back much further, several decades if I recall correctly.

    We also just had the earliest frost since I have lived here by nearly 2 weeks. There wasn't really what I would call a summer, unless you consider raining every day for 4 straight months, a summer.

    This global warming nonsense is not working, and I'm pissed. Get back to me when I can expect to leave my tropical houseplants outside all year, because then I might give a shit, in a good way.

  • some guy||

    There wasn't really what I would call a summer,

    There was that really hot week back in July. Remember when it hit 98, or whatever? I think that was summer.

  • Sevo||

    If summer happens on a Saturday, you can have a picnic!

  • some guy||

    I was too busy mowing the grass from all the rain we had been getting.

  • Hyperion||

    Isn't the science settled? And even if it isn't, then just in case AGW might actually be happening and might eventually be catastrophic, doesn't that mean we have to do something, now? And doesn't that something have to be redistributing trillions of US taxpayer dollars to tin-pot dictators around the world? It's for the children.

  • PH2050||

    ERMAHGERD CLERMERT CHERNGE

  • Greg F||

    CO2 has increased from 0.0278% (pre-industrial) to 0.03931% of the atmosphere. It just sounds scarier to say it increased 141% from the pre-industrial level. Our decedents are going to laugh at our belief in the power of a trace gas in the atmosphere much like we chuckle about our ancestors belief in witches.

  • robnbc||

    If you present yourself as an expert on climate matters at least gets your facts straight. With 2013 being the 7th warmest on record the global "average" since 2000 has increased significantly so the old meme of a pause (since 1998 - the 30th century record) is no longer available. Lets face it, when 97% of the worlds top climate scientist are 95% certain that burning fossil fuels is moving us toward a +2 degree tipping point in climate change, its a good bet that we have a serious problem. Lets get past just dismissing the scientific data and seriously discuss what policies will best insure that our children have a hospitable climate in which to raise their children. We owe them that! We also owe that to the victims of hurricane haiyan.

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