Pep Canadell and colleagues write in The Conversation (1.6.17) that, while the gases most responsible for global warming – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – continue to climb, other industrial greenhouse gases are being brought gradually under control.
‘The most comprehensive collection of atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements, published today, confirms the relentless rise in some of the most important greenhouse gases.
‘The data show that today’s aggregate warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane (CH₄) and nitrous oxide (N₂O) is higher than at any time over the past 800,000 years, according to ice core records.
‘Building on half a century of atmospheric measurements by the international research community, we compiled and analysed the data as part of a group of international scientists, led by Malte Meinshausen from the University of Melbourne in collaboration with CSIRO.
‘Together, the data provide the most compelling evidence of the unprecedented perturbation of Earth’s atmosphere. They clearly show that the growth of greenhouse gases began with the onset of the industrial era around 1750, took a sharp turn upwards in the 1950s, and still continues today.
‘Research has demonstrated that this observed growth in greenhouse gases is caused by human activities, leading to warming of the climate.’