According to the Met office, the level of climate-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere in 2019 will rise almost record-breaking.
The increase is fueled by the continued burning of fossil fuel and the destruction of forests, and will be particularly high in 2019 due to the expected return to El Niño-like conditions. This natural climate change causes warm and dry conditions in the tropics, meaning that plant growth that removes CO2 from the air is limited.
Greenhouse gas concentrations were not as high as today for 3-5 million years, when the world was warmed by 2-3 ° C and the sea level was 1
"Looking at the monthly figures, it's like seeing the planet breathe when CO2 levels fall. With the seasonal cycle of plant growth rising and subsiding in the northern hemisphere," said Prof. Richard Betts from the Hadley Center of the Met Office. "The graphics are a matter of beauty, but also a clear reminder of the influence of man on the climate. Each year's CO2 is higher than the last, and this will continue until people no longer absorb CO2 into the atmosphere. "
" It is a call for innovation with rapid and radical responses to offset these growing emissions. "He said fossil fuel consumption, deforestation and livestock emissions would need to be reduced:" It's one huge challenge, but there are real opportunities to influence individually and globally.
The Met Office has a good track record in forecasting global CO2 levels and predicts that the average increase over 2019 will be 2.75 ppm. This would count him among the highest annual increases in the 62 years since records began.
Only years with strong El Niño events (1998 and 2016) are likely to be higher. The increase in 2016 was 3.39 ppm. In the decade after the first measurement on the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa in 1956, the annual increases were less than 0.9 ppm per year.
An El Niño event occurs when the tropical Pacific swings into a warm phase, making many regions warmer and drier. Trees and plants are natural carbon sinks because they absorb CO2 as they grow. However, this is reduced in the years of El Niño.
"We expect these carbon sinks to be relatively weak this year so that the impact of man-made emissions will be at a record level higher than last year," said Betts.
The Met Office forecasts an average for 2019 CO2 level of 411 ppm It is expected that the monthly averages will be 415 ppm in May, before the September growing season temporarily drops to 408 ppm in September when CO2 levels rise again The industrial revolution triggered large-scale burning of coal, oil and gas.
"It never rains, but it pours," said Professor Dave Reay of the University of Edinburgh, "Our own CO2 emissions are rising And now the natural carbon sinks of the world are also set for a bad year, we know that these sinks account for about half of all biofuels caused emissions. We can only hope that their wavering in 2019 will be a short-term blow, because without their help, the chance for a safer climate of the future will turn to dust. "
Professor Jos Barlow, also at Lancaster University, said the increasing destruction of forests gives cause for serious concern:" That was a particularly bad year. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rose in 2018 to around 8,000 square kilometers. This means that every 30 seconds a football field is lost in the forest. There are also worrying signs that deforestation is accelerating in other Amazon countries such as Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. "