New global analysis shows 400 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions growth

November 10, 2006

The global growth in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was 4 times greater in the period between 2000 to 2005 than in the preceding 10 years, say scientists gathering in Beijing today for an international conference on global environmental change.

Despite efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the global growth rate in CO2 was 3.2% in the five years to 2005 compared to 0.8% in the period 1990 to 1999, according to data soon to be published by the Global Carbon Project (www.globalcarbonproject.org), a component of the Earth System Science Partnership.

“This is a very worrying sign,” said Dr Mike Raupach, Chair of the Global Carbon Project. “It indicates that recent efforts to reduce emissions have virtually no impact on emissions growth and that effective caps are urgently needed.”

Carbon dioxide emissions over the last five years are close to one of emissions scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called “A1B”. This scenario assumes that 50% of energy over the next century will come from fossil fuels, and leads to unacceptably high atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

“On our current path, we will find it extremely difficult to rein in carbon emissions enough to stabilise the atmospheric CO2 concentration at 450 ppm and even 550 ppm will be a challenge,” said Dr Josep Canadell, Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project. “At some point in the near future, we will miss the boat in terms of achieving acceptable levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Due to the phenomenon of environmental inertia, even when anthropogenic emissions do begin to decrease, atmospheric CO2 will continue to rise for up to as much as a century. Global temperatures will continue to increase for two or more centuries locking the world into continuing climate change for this period. Effective management of Earth system inertia depends on early and consistent actions.

The analysis was commissioned by UNESCO and will be presented at the COP12 climate talks in Nairobi this week.

Source: Alfred Wegener Institut fuer Polar und Meeresforschung

Explore further: Carbon tax could lower emissions and GST

Related Stories

Carbon tax could lower emissions and GST

July 22, 2016

A new, powerful way of modelling the impact of carbon pricing has been developed by University of Auckland doctoral researcher Sina Mashinchi. It shows how a carbon tax targeting emissions-intensive industries, along with ...

Russian wildfires put key climate resource at risk

July 22, 2016

Russia's practice of leaving massive wildfires to burn out of control in sprawling stretches of Siberia puts at risk a key global resource for absorbing climate-warming emissions: its trees.

Growing Arctic carbon emissions could go unobserved

June 28, 2016

A new NASA-led study has found that in at least part of the Arctic, scientists are not doing as good a job of detecting changes in carbon dioxide during the long, dark winter months as they are at monitoring changes during ...

Recommended for you

Historical records miss a fifth of global warming: NASA

July 22, 2016

A new NASA-led study finds that almost one-fifth of the global warming that has occurred in the past 150 years has been missed by historical records due to quirks in how global temperatures were recorded. The study explains ...

2016 climate trends continue to break records

July 19, 2016

Two key climate change indicators—global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent—have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite ...

Warmer Mediterranean turns the Sahel green

July 21, 2016

Climate change can have mixed consequences: It would appear that the warming of the Mediterranean region, which has brought greater heat and drought to the countries there for around 20 years, is behind an increase in rainfall ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dachpyarvile
5 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2009
Yes, CO2 is on the rise...but temperatures around the world are falling. England had their harshest winter in 13 years. Last year, China had their worst in 50-100 years, depending on who you talk to at the time. Argentina had snow, Iraq had snow in amounts not seen for over 25 or more years. Malibu, CA (an oceanfront city) had snow.

And now, where I live in the high deserts have been having daytime temperatures in the 70s in the middle of June when the temperatures were in the high 80s last year, the high 90s the year before that, and in the 100s the year before that!

Go figure. :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.