NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released its annual Greenhouse Gases Index report, reports Doug O’Harra at the Alaska Dispatch. The capacity of these gases to insulate the planet and push the rate of climate warming has increased 29 percent since 1990, NOAA reports. The NOAA Greenhouse index, started in 2004, charts and analyzes yearly the impact of the top five greenhouse gases, which are responsible for almost all of what the scientists call “radiative climate forcing,” that is, the direct warming of the planet from the atmospheric presence of these gases. This year, concentrations of carbon dioxide, which drives 80% of the greenhouse gas warming, and nitrous oxide continued to increase at the same steep rate observed over the past decades. The alarming surge in methane levels, begun in 2007 after a decade of stability, continued. Methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but there’s much less of it in the atmosphere. Some scientists warn, however, that widespread thawing of frozen Arctic soil and submarine methane deposits could trigger massive methane releases, dramatically accelerating climate change.
Posted: 11 Nov 2011 08:55 PM PST
Climate-changing greenhouse gases continued their unrelenting rise during 2010, with carbon dioxide averaging 389 parts per million over the year, according to the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.
See also the NOAA report: