Greenhouse Gases Reached a New Level

December 1, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. contributor [kuh n-TRIB-yuh-ter] (n.) – a person or an object that provides to something
Example: One of the major contributors to climate change is the high level of black carbon.

2. emit [ih-MIT] (v.) – to release or give off (e.g. gases or odor)
Example: The power plant emits too much harmful gases.

3. devastating [DEV-uh-stey-ting] (adj.) – capable of being highly destructive or damaging
Example: The devastating typhoon caused billions of damages in some parts of the Philippines.

4. balance [BAL-uh ns] (n.) – the state of being equal
Example: Large amount of greenhouse gases affects the balance of the atmosphere.

5. glacier [GLEY-sher] (n.) – a very large ice that moves slowly from high mountains or wide lands
Example: The glaciers in Antarctica are now melting due to higher temperature.


Read the text below.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealed that the atmospheric volume of greenhouse gases that cause climate change has hit a new record in 2012.

WMO’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin in Geneva revealed in early November that the level of carbon dioxide [dahy-OK-sahyd, -sid] (CO2), as well as heat-trapping gases like methane and nitrous oxide, has significantly increased.

The WMO bulletin said the volume of CO2 grew faster in 2012 than in the previous decade. Being the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities, carbon dioxide reached 393.1 parts per million (ppm), a 141-percent increase from the pre-industrial period.

The organization also highlighted how heat-trapping gases from human activities have upset the natural balance of the atmosphere. In fact, these gases are the major contributors to climate change.

According to Dave Reay, a carbon management expert, CO2 has a ratchet effect, which means its level is expected to further increase over timeThe WMO warned that the continuous upward and accelerating trend, which is driving climate change, will guarantee great effects in the future of the Earth.

The global average temperatures may also reach 4.6 degrees higher by the end of the century than the pre-industrial era. This condition is expected to have devastating consequences to the planet for about 100 years. The weather will become more extreme, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, and sea levels will keep on rising.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, how is climate change affecting the world right now? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you think there is an effective way to reduce the level of greenhouse gases? Please explain briefly.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the long term disadvantages of having too much pollutant? Please explain your answer.
·         How can your government help in reducing the pollutants in your country?


December 1, 2013