There are still "record levels of greenhouse gases which are trapping heat in the atmosphere, increasing temperatures and driving more extreme weather, ice melt, seal-level rise and ocean acidification", warns this United Nations body.
Shuttering factories, grounding planes and reducing energy use and traffic cut emissions of many pollutants and greenhouse gases, but had little impact on the overall amount accumulating in the atmosphere, figures show. The annual globally averaged level of carbon dioxide was about 410.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2019, up from 407.9 parts ppm in 2018, having crossed the 400 parts per million benchmark in 2015.
The WMO says that there will be a reduction in global Carbon dioxide emissions for 2020 - but that it won't affect atmospheric levels of Carbon dioxide any more than normal year-to-year fluctuations, and maybe even less than that.
Preliminary estimates for 2020 indicate that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, global annual emissions of carbon dioxide will have fallen by between 4.2% and 7.5%.More news: Netanyahu’s message to Biden: Can’t go back to old Iran nuclear deal
"The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph", WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement.
Oksana Tarasova, WMO Chief of Atmospheric and Environment Research Division, told a news conference in Geneva that although it looked like the pandemic had brought the world to a standstill, carbon emissions had continued nearly unabated because lockdowns only reduced mobility, not overall energy consumption. Oksana Tarasova head of the WHO's Atmospheric and Environment Research Division, said the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions is dramatic.
World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas during the organisation's latest State of the Climate report earlier this year.More news: Very severe cyclonic storm Nivar to hit TN tonight
"CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries", Taalas pointed out, meaning that actions taken this year to curb the spread of a deadly infectious disease are "not a solution for climate change". The last time the Earth encountered a tantamount convergence of Carbon dioxide was 3-5 million years prior, when the temperature was 2-3°C [3.6-5.4°F] hotter and ocean level was 10-20 meters [32.8-65.6 feet] higher than now. The WMO adds that the Earth has registered a 45% increase in radiative forcing (the warming effect of GHGs) since 1990.
"Such a rate of increase has never been seen in the history of our records", Taalas said.
The second most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is methane, emitted in part from cattle and fermentation from rice paddies, which is responsible for around 16 percent of warming.
Concentrations of nitrous oxide, the third major greenhouse which is gas caused largely by agricultural fertilisers, meanwhile stood at 332 ppb previous year, or 123 percent over pre-industrial levels. Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas and an ozone-depleting chemical, was also on the up, seeing an increase that was equal to the average growth rate over the past 10 years. The increase in Carbon dioxide from 2018 to 2019 was larger than that observed from 2017 to 2018 and also larger than the average over the last decade.More news: Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco plant damages oil tank
In 2019, methane levels were at 260 percent of pre-industrial levels, at 1,877 parts per billion.