Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) — Concentrations in the atmosphere of
greenhouse gases reached a record in 2013, raising concerns that
ocean acidity is increasing at worrying rates.
Carbon dioxide rose to 396 parts per million molecules of
air, the UN World Meteorological Organization said today in an
e-mailed bulletin. Atmospheric CO2 levels rose 2.9 parts per
million from the previous year, the largest annual increase
since 1984, according to the report.
“We know without any doubt that our climate is changing
and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities
such as the burning of fossil fuels,” WMO Secretary-General
Michel Jarraud said in the statement.
“Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for many
hundreds of years and in the ocean for even longer,” he said.
“Past, present and future CO2 emissions will have a cumulative
impact on both global warming and ocean acidification.”
The annual bulletin for the first time devoted a section on
ocean acidification. The current rate of acidification appears
unprecedented at least compared with the last 300 million years,
according to the report.
Acidification refers to the process whereby carbon dioxide
produced from human activity and released into the atmosphere
dissolves into the oceans, making them more acidic.
As to other types of greenhouse gases, methane
concentrations increased 0.27 percent to 1,824 parts per billion
and nitrous oxide levels rose 0.25 percent to 325.9 parts per
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Iain Wilson, Indranil Ghosh