Context: The United Nations (U.N) World Meteorological Organisation announced that it has come up with a new Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure.
What are Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)?
- Certain gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, trap the sun’s heat in Earth’s atmosphere.
- These greenhouse gases (GHGs) exist naturally in the atmosphere and help keep the Earth’s surface warm enough to sustain life.
- However, exponential increase in amount of these gases led to Global Warming.
- Global warming: Global warming refers to the increase in average global temperature since the Industrial Revolution. The average global temperature has increased by about one degree Celsius since 1880.
- Scientists expect the average global temperature to rise an additional 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius through 2035.
- CO2 accounts for around 66% of the warming effect on the climate.
- Causes: Human activities, notably the burning of fossil fuels to power vehicles, factories, and homes, release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
- Other activities, including deforestation (cutting down trees) and raising livestock, also emit greenhouse gases.
About Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure
- Aim: To provide better ways of measuring planet-warming pollution and help inform policy choices.
- Working: It will be a top-down approach to the flux evaluation which builds on existing capabilities in surface- and space-based observations and modelling and ensures timely exchange of all observations and data.
- Significance: It is a significant step towards trying to fill a key gap in the fight against climate change: standardised, real-time tracking of greenhouse gases.
- It will result in much faster and sharper data on how the planet’s atmosphere is changing.
- It will provide vital information and support for implementation of the Paris Agreement.
- 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change: Countries agree to cap global warming at “well below” two degrees Celsius above levels measured between 1850 and 1900 – and 1.5 degree C if possible.
- It would improve understanding of the carbon cycle and help reduce uncertainties in estimates of the strength of natural sources and sinks.
- It will enhance the quality of national greenhouse gas emission inventories and complement the data available to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- It is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories.
- India is a member of WMO.
- It is established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23rd March 1950.
- It is a specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
Steps by WMO to Address Global Warming
- WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: It provides annual updates to the UN Climate Change negotiations on atmospheric concentrations of the main long-lived gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide).
- WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme: It provides information and services on atmospheric composition to the public and to decision-makers relating to: the steadily increasing amounts of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, impacting the climate.
- Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS): IG3IS aims to coordinate an integrated global greenhouse gas information system, linking inventory and flux model based information with atmospheric observations and modelling, to provide the best possible estimates of greenhouse gas emissions at the national and urban scales.