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Greenhouse Gases Rise to Record Levels in Atmosphere, WMO Says

Nov 20, 2012

Concentrations in the atmosphere of the three main gases blamed for global warming all rose in 2011 to their highest since records began, the United Nations said.

Carbon dioxide, responsible for about 80 percent of the global warming effect of greenhouse gases, gained 0.51 percent to 390.9 parts per million molecules of air, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said today in an e-mailed bulletin. The methane concentration increased 0.28 percent and the nitrous oxide level rose 0.31 percent.

Rising concentrations of the three gases in the Earth’s atmosphere threaten to render impossible the UN’s goal of containing the temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius of warming since industrialization, the International Energy Agency said earlier this month.