In order to prevent the worst effects of climate change, the world must drastically cut carbon emissions. But according to a new report, greenhouse gas emissions increased in the past year instead of decreasing.
Since records began in 1983, 2022's emissions were the fourth highest documented, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports, via The Guardian. It increased steadily throughout the year, with carbon dioxide levels rising for the eleventh consecutive year — reaching the highest rate in the last 65 years. This puts the level of CO2 in the atmosphere at 50 percent higher than preindustrial levels.
CO2 is responsible for 25 percent of heat caused by greenhouse gases. The past year has seen record temperatures and heat waves, which has contributed to exacerbated natural disasters globally.
The largest source of methane, according to the report, is the oil and gas industry, particularly vehicles that run on fossil fuels — buses, cars, trucks, and farm equipment. The agriculture industry has been a major source in the last decade through synthetic fertilizers and livestock manure.
“The observations collected by Noaa scientists in 2022 show that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at an alarming pace and will persist in the atmosphere for thousands of years,” NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad said. “The time is now to address greenhouse gas pollution and to lower human-caused emissions as we continue to build toward a Climate-Ready Nation.”
The 2015 Paris Climate Accords set a limit on emissions allowed from the 194 nations that ratified it. By the end of the century, the United Nations estimated that temperatures will rise to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the pre-industrial average — a full degree higher.
Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a "final warning" on emissions, not threatening punishment, but remind the world that there is not much time left to reverse the damage.