Greenhouse Accumulation

Discussion

Atmospheric acculumation - increased concentrations - of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), are causing global warming. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions we can stop or even reverse this accumulation.

Currently, atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are steadily accumulating, but atmospheric methane concentrations are fairly stable after rises in earlier years.

Readings

Greenhouse Gas Accumulation 1975-2005

Greenhouse Gas Graphs. CSIRO, 2006

Atmospheric greenhouse gas levels as measured at Cape Grim, Tasmania

Greenhouse Gas Accumulation 2004-2005

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Highest on Record (Word DOC). World Meteorological Organisation, 2005.11.3

In 2005, globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide reached their highest levels ever recorded at 379.1 parts per million, up 2.0 ppm from 377.1 ppm in 2004.

Concentrations of nitrous oxide also reached record highes in 2005, up 0.19 percent from 318.6 parts per billion to 319.2 ppb.

Methane remained stable at 1783 ppb.

Greenhouse Accumulation 1750 to 2005

Global average abundance of key greenhouse gases

  CO2 ppm CH4 ppb N2O ppb
1750 280 700 270
2004 377.1 1783 318.6
2005 379.1 1783 319.2

Source: WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, World Meteorological Organisation, 2006.11

Carbon Dioxide Accumulation 1959-2004

Atmospheric CO2 levels as measured at Manua Loa and Cape Grim

Table showing average atmospheric CO2 levels for year, increase over previous year, and average yearly increase over previous 5 years, as measured at Manua Loa, Hawaii, and Cape Grim, Tasmania.

  Mauna Loa Cape Grim
Av CO2 (ppm) Incr 1 y (ppm/y) Av incr 5 yr (ppm/y) Av CO2 (ppm) Incr 1 yr (ppm/y) Av incr 5 yr (ppm/y)
1959 315.98          
1960 316.91 0.9        
1961 317.65 0.7        
1962 318.45 0.8        
1963 318.99 0.5        
1964 319.53 0.5 0.7      
1965 320.03 0.5 0.6      
1966 321.37 1.3 0.7      
1967 322.18 0.8 0.7      
1968 323.05 0.9 0.8      
1969 324.62 1.6 1.0      
1970 325.68 1.1 1.1      
1971 326.32 0.6 1.0      
1972 327.46 1.1 1.1      
1973 329.68 2.2 1.3      
1974 330.25 0.6 1.1      
1975 331.15 0.9 1.1      
1976 332.15 1.0 1.2      
1977 333.90 1.8 1.3 331.75    
1978 335.50 1.6 1.2 333.50 1.8  
1979 336.85 1.4 1.3 335.27 1.8  
1980 338.69 1.8 1.5 336.58 1.3  
1981 339.93 1.2 1.6 337.59 1.0  
1982 341.13 1.2 1.4 338.07 0.5 1.3
1983 342.78 1.6 1.5 340.12 2.1 1.3
1984 344.42 1.6 1.5 341.89 1.8 1.3
1985 345.90 1.5 1.4 343.19 1.3 1.3
1986 347.15 1.3 1.4 344.45 1.3 1.4
1987 348.93 1.8 1.6 346.12 1.7 1.6
1988 351.48 2.6 1.7 348.30 2.2 1.6
1989 352.91 1.4 1.7 349.50 1.2 1.5
1990 354.19 1.3 1.7 350.96 1.5 1.6
1991 355.59 1.4 1.7 352.67 1.7 1.6
1992 356.37 0.8 1.5 354.07 1.4 1.6
1993 357.04 0.7 1.1 354.87 0.8 1.3
1994 358.88 1.8 1.2 356.32 1.4 1.4
1995 360.88 2.0 1.3 358.32 2.0 1.5
1996 362.64 1.8 1.4 359.80 1.5 1.4
1997 363.76 1.1 1.5 361.13 1.3 1.4
1998 366.63 2.9 1.9 363.60 2.5 1.7
1999 368.31 1.7 1.9 365.54 1.9 1.8
2000 369.48 1.2 1.7 366.82 1.3 1.7
2001 371.02 1.5 1.7 368.33 1.5 1.7
2002 373.10 2.1 1.9 370.50 2.2 1.9
2003 375.64 2.5 1.8 372.78 2.3 1.8
2004 377.38 1.7 1.8 374.63 1.9 1.8

 

Source: Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations at Mauna Loa. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre, 2005.5

Refer: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record from Mauna Loa. C.D. Keeling and T.P. Whorf, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre, 2005

See also: Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US).

Source: Cape Grim CO2 Data (Excel). State of the Environment 2006, Environment Australia.

Refer: Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Growth Rates. State of the Environment 2006, Environment Australia.

2007.2.23