In this week’s “Two Degree Difference”, we examine which certain heat trapping emissions have continued to spike. We’ll also dive into a discussion about why atmospheric carbon dioxide is on track to reach record high concentrations this month.

The continued rise of global greenhouse gas emissions is mainly from human activities in five primary sectors. Those sectors include energy, industry, agriculture, transportation, and building. In the United States, transportation is the largest emitter contributing 27% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

On the same topic of emissions, the yearly peak carbon dioxide levels will likely break new records this month. Meanwhile, researchers have shown that methane concentrations had their largest annual increase in 2021.

Methane emissions come from the production of oil, natural gas and coal, animal agriculture, and landfills. The reason why methane is an issue is because over a 20 year period, it can trap heat 81 times more effectively than carbon dioxide — making it one of the key gases to reduced to limit future warming. So, how do we go about all of this change and turn things around? Scientists say, we need “rapid and deep” emission cuts across all sectors, globally, if we want a chance at limiting future warmth to one and a half degrees Celsius or below 2 degrees Celsius. If we want a world with the least amount of climate change impacts, we have to take action within this decade.