Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If everyone who visited our website in the next week donated just $15, we would cover all of our operating costs for the year. We can't do it without you. Please donate today. It takes just a couple of minutes to do your part to make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else.

Your Donation: $

Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reach Record High

New figures show greenhouse gas emissions have reached an all-time high. On Tuesday, the United Nations said global emissions broke all previous records in 2011. Unveiling an annual report on emissions, Michel Jarraud of the World Meteorological Organization warned the increase will likely assure a global temperature rise of more than two degrees Celsius.

Michel Jarraud: "The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has reached once again a record — a record level in 2011. The current concentration of the major anthropogenic greenhouse gases, like CO2, like methane, like nitrous oxide, are now such that the target of remaining within a two degrees termperature increase is getting increasingly unlikely."

Jarraud added that the increase includes record levels of gases most responsible for global warming — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — which will remain in the atmosphere for centuries.

Michel Jarraud: "Between 1990 and 2011, so over the last essentially 20 years, there has been a 30 percent increase in radiative forcing. An increase in radiative forcing means an increase in the temperature. It’s what causes the warming effect on our climate. Some of these gases, in particular CO2, once it’s released in the atmosphere, will stay there for very, very long times, centuries even, even longer. So even if we were able to stop new emission tomorrow, and we know it’s not feasible, but even if we were able to do that, these greenhouse gases, which have already been sent in the atmosphere, will continue to have an effect for actually centuries."

See all headlines for this show

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.