GENEVA — Greenhouse gases blamed for global warming and climate change have reached their highest ever levels in the atmosphere, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday. A bulletin from the United Nations agency said the gases — the main warming culprit carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide — “all reached new highs in 2004.” WMO officials also indicated that a near record year-on-year rise in CO2 levels for 2005 recorded by U.S. monitors — well above the average for the past 10 years — would not come as a major surprise. “Global observations coordinated by WMO show that levels of carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, continue to increase steadily and show no signs of leveling off,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. Carbon dioxide, which the WMO says accounts for 90 percent of warming over the past decade, is largely generated by human activity involving the burning of fossil fuels — including in industry, transport and domestic heating. Scientists warn emissions must be slowed and reduced if the earth is to avoid climatic havoc with devastating heat waves, droughts, floods and rising sea-levels sinking low-lying island states and […]

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