UN: Concentrations of greenhouse gases hit record

By the Associated Press | November 21, 2011 | 5:05 AM EST

FILE - In this July 19, 2011 file photograph, Indian army soldiers returning from border posts get a briefing at the Siachen Glacier base camp, in Indian Kashmir on the border with Pakistan. Four Himalayan nations, faced with erratic weather and the threat of melting glaciers and catastrophic floods, are hashing out a plan for preserving the vast mountain range and helping millions living in the foothills cope with climate change. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. weather agency says concentrations of global warming gases are at record levels from emissions that exceed scientists' worst-case scenarios.

The World Meteorological Organization says heat-trapping carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have reached 389 parts per million — the highest such concentrations since the start of the industrial era in 1750.

WMO says that reflects a 20 percent increase in nitrous oxide, 39 percent rise in CO2 and 158 percent jump in methane since then.

Its report Monday cites fossil fuel-burning, loss of forests that absorb CO2 and use of fertilizer as main culprits.

The concentrations exceed the worst of seven emissions scenarios in 2001 from the U.N.'s expert climate panel.