The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP25 and the Earth’s challenges of reducing Greenhouse Gases emissions.
By Rahman Mahfuz
The United Nations Climate Change conference COP25 has begun in Madrid, Spain, from 2nd December 2012. The conference will be continued on 13 December 2019. Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment from Chile will be peside the conference. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina is attending this important conference among with more than 200 other worlds leaders.
The will follow up on the progress of the Paris Agreement on climate changes. For the purpose of the COP25 Conference. It’s aim is to limit the global average mean temperature rise this centuries well below 2°C above as before the pre-industrial revolution in 1750 and to pursue to limit it to 1.5° C. According to an inter-governmental panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming, it is physically possible to keep the global temperature rise to a limit of about 1.5°C, but it will have to be a radical change in human life styles, transportations, housing as well as productions and consumsions of energy.
Ahead of the conference, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a provincial statement on Global Climate Change in 2019 where it showed that the long term warming riseing is continued and the trend of heat trapping Greenhouse Gases(mainly Carbon di-oxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide) in the atmosphere have reached to an another record i.e. “high” in this year.
The governments requires to take urgenc taking effeftive and efficient actions to reduce Greenhouse Gases emissions by formulating and using the tools to support the stakeholders at national and sub-national levels. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), this year, the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere set out a new record. Thus the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere means that future generations will have to face with an extreme Climate Change effects such as hurricanes, floods, droughts, landslides, Sea water levels rising, rising temperatures on the earth surface, etc.
WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased from 2017 to 2018 is at 407.8 ppm (Parts Per Millions), compared to 405.5 ppm in 2017. The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere from 2017 to 2018 is higher than the year 2016 to 2017 and also higher than the mean average increasing rate of the last decade.
CO2 remains in the atmosphere from centuries to centuries and also longer in oceans without disturbing. According to the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) observations, also the concentration of Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere has increased much over the last decade.
This image described the rising chart of CO2 according to the bulletin by WMO
“There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,» said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of the mankind, ” he said.
According to WMO’s Bulletin, the rate of increasing Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere are describe below:-
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
The cause of CO2 emissions is the burning/exhausting of fossil fuels (Petroleum materials such as Deisel, Octane, Petrol, Mobil, Coals, etc.) in the industrial process, power generations, transportations, bricks fields, agricultural process, cooking, etc. The rate of increase of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere during the last three decades are shown below: –
From 1985-1995 = 1.42 ppm per year
From 1995-2005 = 1.86 ppm per year
From 2005-2015 = 2.06 ppm per year
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index shows that from 1990 to 2018’ the long-lived Greenhouses increased 43% where CO2’s contribution is 80%.
Methane is the second most long-lived Greenhouse Gas in the atmosphere and is responsible for 17% of the radiative force (atmosphere warming). About 40% of Methane Gas is emitted from natural sources (from Wetlands and Termits actions) and 60% from human activities such as livestock farming, agricultural process, fossil fuels burning, land filling, natural gas expolations and Biomass burnning etc. Natural Gases contain 80-94% Methane where in Bangladeshies Natural gases percentage is more or less of 94%. It is also produced by the decomposition or burning of the dead body.
In 1750, Methanee concentration in the atmosphere was 0.700 ppm and in 2018, it’s increased to 1.869 ppm. So, the increase of CH4 is 1.169 ppm or 267% as before the Industrial revolution. In the last decade, the increasing CH4 in the atmosphere from 2017 to 2018 is higher than the year 2016 to 2017.
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
N2O is responsible for 6% of the atmosphere’s warming. The emission of 60% N2O in the atmosphere is due to natural sources such as sea-waves and soil, and 40% of emissions are due to human activities such as the decomposition and burning of plants and animals, the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture process and burning of fossil fuels.
In 1750, N2O in the atmosphere was 0.0.270 ppm and in 2018, it’s increased to 0.3311 ppm. So, the increase of N2O is 0.0611 ppm or 123% as before the Industrial revolution. In the last decade, the increasing N2O in the atmosphere from 2017 to 2018 is higher than the year 2016 to 2017.
N2O plays a destructive role in destroying the stratospheric Ozone layer, causing the ultraviolet rays of the sun to penetrate the atmosphere directly to the surface. And e know that Ultraviolet rays can cause a variety of complex diseases, including human skin cancer and can cause various damage to the plant.
Source: World Meteorological Organization Bulletin, Published on 25 November 2019, Press Release Number: 25112019, Geneva.