NOAA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     9th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) disclosed that global carbon dioxide levels soared to a record high in 2023.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

  • About: NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science, extending its reach from the sun's surface to the depths of the ocean floor.
  • Headquarters:  Washington, D.C.
  • Establishment and Mandate: It was established in 1970 within the Department of Commerce with the mandate to study Earth's oceans, atmosphere, and coastal areas as they affect the United States.
  • Global Mission: NOAA's mission extends beyond national borders to better understand the natural world and protect its resources, collaborating globally to monitor weather, climate, and environmental changes.
  • Leadership in International Policies: It holds key leadership roles in shaping international policies concerning ocean, fisheries, climate, space, and weather, contributing to global initiatives for sustainable resource management.
  • Essential Resources and Expertise: NOAA boasts numerous essential resources, including research programs, vessels, satellites, science centers, laboratories, and a distinguished pool of scientists and experts, all of which are internationally recognized for their contributions.

Key Facts of the study by NOAA:

  • Global carbon dioxide levels reached a record high in 2023. This surge places us in the Pliocene epoch, a period roughly 4.3 million years ago. The Pliocene epoch was a time of significant environmental change. 
  • The 2023 increase was the third-largest in the last decade and is likely a result of an ongoing increase of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The NOAA analysis also found record high levels of another greenhouse gas: Methane.

oMore than 85 per cent of the increase from 2006 to 2021 was due to increased microbial emissions generated by livestock, agriculture, human and agricultural waste, wetlands and other aquatic sources The rest could be coming from fossil fuel emissions. 

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