Forecasting Change: How greenhouse gases are tied to increasing temperatures

Record carbon dioxide measured this past March

(Pixabay)

ORLANDO, Fla. – This week on Forecasting Change we look at the increasing temperature and its tie to greenhouse emissions.

This past March, we set a record for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere when CO2 reached 418 ppm.

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In May, we expect to set a record for the month as we break last year’s level of 419 ppm. We keep setting new records because we are emitting CO2 faster than our planet can naturally cycle the carbon away. The graphic below shows the steady climb since 1880.

Temperature & Carbon Dioxide

Methane is also on the rise, so are other gases, but those are not increasing nearly as fast.

Methane is mostly released from the production of oil, natural gas, coal, agricultural production and landfills. Methane “lives” in our atmosphere for only about 12 years. That is nothing compared to the centuries it takes to lose the CO2. But Methane traps heat 81 times better than CO2.

So it has to be decreased, captured, and eliminated to prevent future warming.

Methane

Here is the breakout of greenhouse gas emissions for the U.S. and the world.

The best hope for the future will be the scaling of electric vehicles, and using solar and wind to power to transform power production.

U.S. emissions
Global emissions

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.