‘Methane and CO2 emissions broke new record in 2021’

The annual increase of atmospheric methane in 2021 was the largest in the last 39 years, according to new research

Big Zero Report 2023

Methane and carbon dioxide emissions have recorded a record annual increase last year.

That’s according to analysis by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which suggests methane increased annually by 17 parts per billion (ppb).

The US agency said that was the largest annual increase of methane recorded since 1983.

Atmospheric methane levels averaged 1,895.7ppb during 2021, or around 162% greater than pre-industrial levels, according to the study.

Scientists also found that levels of carbon dioxide also continued to increase at historically high rates.

They estimated that the global surface average for carbon dioxide during 2021 was 414.7 parts per million (ppm), which is an increase of 2.66 ppm over the 2020 average.

The NOAA said that marked the tenth consecutive year that carbon dioxide increased by more than two parts per million, which represents the fastest sustained rate of increase in the 63 years since monitoring began.

Rick Spinrad, an NOAA Administrator, said: “Our data shows that global emissions continue to move in the wrong direction at a rapid pace.

“The evidence is consistent, alarming and undeniable. We need to build a Climate Ready Nation to adapt to what’s already here and prepare for what’s to come.

“At the same time, we can no longer afford to delay urgent and effective action needed to address the cause of the problem — greenhouse gas pollution.”

A few days ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report suggested all sectors can at least halve emissions by 2030 with an increase in commitment to climate action.

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