Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: the State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Based on Global Observations through 2014

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached yet another new record high in 2014, continuing a relentless rise which is fuelling climate change and will make the planet more dangerous and inhospitable for future generations. The World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin says that between 1990 and 2014 there was a 36% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from industrial, agricultural and domestic activities. The WMO report also highlights the interaction and amplification effect between rising levels of CO2 and water vapour, which is itself a major greenhouse gas, albeit short-lived. Warmer air holds more moisture and so increased surface temperatures caused by CO2 would lead to a rise in global water vapour levels, further adding to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Further increases in CO2 concentrations will lead to disproportionately high increases in thermal energy and warming from water vapour.