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Published: Monday 16 September, 2013

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The Annual Greenhouse Gas Index was released Tuesday by the Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosp michael michael kors bags sale here as a result of industrial and other processes. They can help trap solar heat, somewhat like a greenhouse, resulting in a gradual warming of the Earths atmosphere.

The Earths average temperature increased about 1 degree Fahrenheit during the 20th century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that continuing increases could have serious effects on crops, glaciers, the spread of disease, rising sea levels and other changes.

In its new analysis the laboratory, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, compares the amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxi michael michael kors bags sale de and chlorofluorocarbons in the air. Those gases have been sampled for many years.

The index was set to a reading of 1 as of 1990 and the lab said it is currently 1.20, indicating an increase of 20%.

The AGGI will serve as a gauge of success or failure of future efforts to curb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere both by natural and humanengineered processes, said David Hofmann, CMDL director.

The index is expected to be updated each April.

This index provides us with a valuable benchmark for tracking the composition of the atmosphere as we seek to better understand the dynamics of Earths climate, said NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr.

In the current reading, for every million air molecules there are about 375 carbon dioxide molecules, two are methane and less than one is a nitrous oxide molecule. The CFCs make up less than one molecule in a billion in the atmosphere but play a role in regulating Earths climate and are a key factor in the depletion of the protective ozone layer, NOAA researchers say.

The gases produce an effect known as radiative forcing. It is a shift in the balance between solar radiation coming into the atmosphere and Earths radiation going out. Radiative forcing, as measured by the index, is calculated from the atmospheric concentration of each contributing gas and the permolecule climate forcing of each gas.
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The lab said most of the increase measured since 1990 is due to carbon dioxide, which now accounts for about 62% of the radiative forcing by all longlived greenhouse gases. michael michael kors bags sale