The abundance of climate-heating gases in the atmosphere reached record highs in 2022. A new report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) finds that climate-heating gases in the atmosphere reached record highs in 2022 and “there is no end in sight to the rising trend,” which is largely driven by the burning of fossil fuels. Greenhouse gas levels will continue to increase until emissions are cut all the way down to net zero, meaning global heating and the impacts of extreme weather will also continue to increase.
The heating effect of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose by 50% between 1990 and 2022, with CO2 accounting for about 80% of this increase. The Earth has not experienced similar levels of CO2 for 3-5 million years, when the global temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 meters higher than today.