Environment Counts | Atmospheric CO2 concentration reaches 389.0 ppm
Author: Geoff Zeiss – Published At: 2011-12-07 07:14 – (789 Reads)
The latest observations from the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Program shows that the globally averaged mixing ratios of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) reached new highs in 2010, with CO2 at 389.0 ppm, CH4 at 1808 ppb and N2O at 323.2 ppb. These values are greater than those in pre-industrial times (before 1750) by 39%, 158% and 20%, respectively.
The WMO Global Atmosphere Watch Programme coordinates systematic observations and analysis of atmospheric composition, including greenhouse gases and other trace species. The GAW CO2, CH4 and N2O networks are comprehensive and baseline networks of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Measurement data are reported by participating countries and archived and distributed by the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases (WDCGG) at the Japan Meteorological Agency. Statistics on global atmospheric abundances in 2010 and changes in abundance since 2009 and 1750 for the three major greenhouse gases are obtained from a global analysis (GAW Report No. 184) of datasets that are traceable to the WMO World Reference Standard. Data from mobile stations, with the exception of NOAA flask sampling in the Pacific, are not used for this global analysis.
The three greenhouse gases summarized in the table have been increasing in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial era. Their atmospheric abundances are directly connected with human activity, unlike water vapour, which is the most important greenhouse gas but whose abundance is controlled by fast climate feedbacks. They are generally much longer lived in the atmosphere than water vapour. The three primary greenhouse gases are not only closely linked to anthropogenic activities, but they also have strong interactions with the biosphere and the oceans. Chemical reactions in the atmosphere affect their abundances as well.