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GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GASES

UN takes step towards new way of tracking

English Desk
  07 Mar 2023, 09:32

The United Nations announced yesterday that it had taken a significant step towards trying to fill a key gap in the fight against climate change: standardised, real-time tracking of greenhouse gases.

The UN's World Meteorological Organization has come up with a new Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure that aims to provide better ways of measuring planet-warming pollution and help inform policy choices.

The WMO's new platform will integrate space-based and surface-based observing systems, and seek to clarify uncertainties about where greenhouse gas emissions end up.

It should result in much faster and sharper data on how the planet's atmosphere is changing.

"We know from our measurements that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record high," WMO chief Petteri Taalas said.

The three major greenhouses gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Of those, CO2 accounts for around 66 percent of the warming effect on the climate.

"The increase in CO2 levels from 2020 to 2021 was higher than the average growth rate over the past decade, and methane saw the biggest year-on-year jump," Taalas said.

The 2015 Paris Agreement saw countries agree to cap global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius above levels measured between 1850 and 1900 -- and 1.5C if possible. WMO said there needed to be stronger underpinnings of climate change mitigation actions taken under  the agreement.

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