Climate Change Causes of Global Warming and Climate Change

Published on November 20th, 2012 | by Chris Milton


Top Causes Of Global Warming Hit Record Highs

Like huge, ravening monsters, the top causes of global warming are ignoring man’s attempts to stop them and continue to hit record highs, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the biggest single cause of global warming, rose by 2ppm (parts per million) in 2010-2011, reaching a new record of 391ppm or 140% of pre-industrial levels. Carbon dioxide is responsible for up to 85% of global warming.

Causes of Global Warming and Climate Change

The second biggest cause of global warming, methane in the atmosphere, has also continued its upward spiral, reaching 1813 ppb (parts ber billion) in 2011, or 259% of pre-industrial levels.

Other greenhouse gas emissions have also hit new highs, including nitrous oxide, which has a far longer-lasting effect on global warming than other greenhouse gases and is partly responsible for destroying the planet’s protectiove ozone layer.

Taken together, these three gases have caused a 30% increase in the global warming effect since 1990, the equivalent of 473ppm carbon dioxide.

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide but its release into the atmosphere had plateaued up until 2007, when it started to rise again with increasing rapidity. There are concerns that this may be in part due to melting permafrost and tundra, which could signal global warming starting to run out of control.

“Until now, carbon sinks have absorbed nearly half of the carbon dioxide humans emitted in the atmosphere,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “But this will not necessarily continue in the future.

“We have already seen that the oceans are becoming more acidic as a result of the carbon dioxide uptake, with potential repercussions for the underwater food chain and coral reefs.

“Future emissions will only compound the situation.”

The revelations come just a day after the World Bank said a catestophic rise of 4°C (7°F) was looking increasingly likely, adding more fuel to speculation surrounding a carbon tax.

Image Credit: Global Warming by Kevin Dooley (some rights reserved)

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About the Author

is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.

  • Hdawsond

    Time to plant a few trees every week.  In Australia we can plant European trees in the suburban areas that grow 5 times faster than they would in Europe because of the lack of insect damage.  Any tree that is a food source as well is double points.  I have been picking mulberries and raspberries in the backyard this morning, there is no time like the present to do something for the planet on YOUR block.   If you can’t plant on a balcony or garden, then have a go at guerrilla gardening for fun, just DO something.  Plant a fruit tree at the bus stop.  I DARE YOU!!!

  • Pickering Roger

    Farting cows aren’t the reason for global warming.look instead to the real cause,OIL!!!!
    the planet is being drained of it’s natural coolant which like a car ,will overheat with no OIL,causing volcanoes to erupt,earthquakes and melting ice caps raising sea levels.
    Imagine a hundred mosquitoes on your body,how long could you last?Same  thing as the planet with 1000′s of OIL wells all over earth,how long will we last when earth’s
    natural blood[coolant] is gone?

  • David Way

    There is a quick fix to global warming I can fix it in ten years world wide. I know how. I know why we have global warming. Its not cars. Although any added co2 dosent help a wounded planet. The truth is directional as it was one country that upset the balance of nature, it is the USA. That’s just a fact. The USA is the nation that took destruction to a global level. This is a reality of the end result. So if people can overcome thier self righteousness we can fix the problem. If people put aside self righteousness for ten years that will be enough time to prove the project. My fix is very low cost. Im serious.perhaps ten billion per year world wide to effect change and a stabilizing of c02 levels on a global scale. My idea is searching for cooperation and funding and world agreement. Im sure people can see the effects on the bears the ice melting. We need a single purpose to have victory. It can be done it is the will of people who will speak against it that will waste time. My idea will work I know it, its math it will work.

  • Lars Petter Blikom

    Qiute scary to watch this development.

    In the first paragraph, you write “ignoring man’s attempts to stop them”, I wasnt aware of any attempts, not any real attempts anyway. Which was clear also in IEA recent publication the World Energy Report.

    • britesprite

       I was extremely tempted to put “ignoring man’s pathetic attempts”, but the journalist in me forbade such heedless editorialising :)

      • Zachary Shahan

        :D lol

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