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Scientists confirm record highs for three most important heat-trapping gases

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: In 2023, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—the three most critical greenhouse gases contributing to global warming—hit new record highs
• Carbon dioxide levels rose to an average of 419 parts per million, methane to 1922 parts per billion, and nitrous oxide to 336 parts per billion.

🔭 The context: These increases are part of a long-term trend of rising greenhouse gas levels attributed to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, animal agriculture, and deforestation
• Methane levels have seen particularly dramatic rises, with concentrations now 160% higher than pre-industrial times.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The escalation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exacerbates global warming, leading to the hottest year ever recorded and increasing the frequency of extreme weather events like floods, droughts, and wildfires
• This trend is pushing Earth's climate into conditions not experienced since before the dawn of human civilization

⏭️ What's next: Scientists emphasize the urgent need for governments to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and then actively remove carbon from the atmosphere
• This is crucial to mitigate the long-term impacts of climate change, given the prolonged duration CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere

💬 One quote: “As these numbers show, we still have a lot of work to do to make meaningful progress in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere,” said Vanda Grubišić, director of Noaa’s global monitoring laboratory.

📈 One stat: Carbon dioxide levels today are over 50% higher than before the era of mass industrialization.

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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