ATHENS — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developed the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index to compare the combined warming influence of long-lived greenhouse gases — atmospheric gases that absorb and radiate heat — to their influence in 1990. By the end of 2020, the warming influence of human-produced greenhouse gases had risen 47% above the 1990 baseline.

As climate issues capture governmental and public attention — from the effects of methane emissions to weather extremes — it is incumbent on the world to take action.

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Maria M. Lameiras is a managing editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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