CO2 emissions continue significant climb

Nov 24, 2009

The annual rate of increase in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels has more than tripled in this decade, compared to the 1990s, reports an international consortium of scientists, who paint a bleak picture of the Earth's future unless "CO2 emissions [are] drastically reduced."

These CO2 emissions increased at a rate of 3.4% per year from 2000 to 2008, in contrast to 1% each year in the previous decade, scientists from the Global Carbon Project report in the current issue of Nature Geoscience. The team comprises some 30 researchers from around the world, including Scott C. Doney, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Richard A. Houghton, senior scientist and acting director of the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC).

Since 2000, the scientists documented an overall increase of 29% in global CO2 emissions. They attributed the rise to increasing production and trade of manufactured products, particularly from emerging economies, the gradual shift from oil to coal and the planet's waning capacity to absorb CO2.

Doney led a team that developed ocean-model simulations for estimating the historical variations in air-sea CO2 fluxes.

"Over the last decade, CO2 emissions have continued to climb despite efforts to control emissions," Doney said. "Preliminary evidence suggests that the land and ocean may be becoming less effective at removing CO2 from the atmosphere, which could accelerate future ."

A key element of the report, according to Doney, was the work of Houghton, acting director of WHRC. "He developed the estimates of carbon emissions from deforestation, a major source of human-driven carbon emissions," Doney said.

"Although the emissions of CO2 from deforestation accounted for only about 15% of total CO2 emissions over the period 2000-2008, reducing deforestation is one of the activities that could contribute significantly to stabilizing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere," Houghton said. Negotiations at COP-15 in Copenhagen next month will take up this issue in earnest.

Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Explore further: Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pricing can cut CO2 emissions from electric generators

Apr 28, 2008

Levying a price on carbon dioxide released by electric generators could considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions — even before the deployment of any environmentally friendly technology — according to scientists in ...

Emissions irrelevant to future climate change?

Apr 28, 2008

Climate change and the carbon emissions seem inextricably linked. However, new research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Carbon Balance and Management suggests that this may not always hold true, althou ...

Carbon study could help reduce harmful emissions

Feb 14, 2008

Earth scientists at The University of Manchester have found that carbon dioxide has been naturally stored for more than a million years in several gas fields in the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains of the United States.

Fossil fuel CO2 emissions up by 29 percent since 2000

Nov 17, 2009

The strongest evidence yet that the rise in atmospheric CO2 emissions continues to outstrip the ability of the world's natural 'sinks' to absorb carbon is published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. ...

Impact of sea-level rise on atmospheric CO2 concentrations

Jan 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The rise in sea level since the last ice age has prevented us from feeling the full impact of man-made global warming. The sea level rise has resulted in more harmful greenhouse gases being absorbed by the ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
2.7 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2009
Right now all scientists and reports showing AGW and CO2 in the atmosphere should be considered suspect. Until AGW proponents can show that the leaked documents that show AGW is a scam, is fraudulent, how can anyone believe anything any of these scientist say?

http://www.physor...129.html
PinkElephant
2.8 / 5 (5) Nov 24, 2009
Nice logic there, smokey. I think by that same logic, we should also now suspect all soldiers deployed in Iraq of premeditated execution-style killings, because of the incident currently being discussed in the MSM...

On the other hand, I have a feeling the 'leaked documents' are much more of a molehill than the mountain you think they are. But then, you probably know that already. See, I do give you credit, and I understand where you're coming from. By all means, do carry on your politicking. After all, it doesn't really matter what any of us does, whether right or wrong: in the end, we all end up dead ;-)
GrayMouser
1 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2009
Ok, given:
1) the rate of increase of CO2 emissions have increased 3 times in the last decade, and
2) the global temperature has decreased for the past decade.
From this you could come to three possible conclusions:
1) CO2 is causing the world to cool, or
2) CO2 is not a primary factor in global climate, or
3) CO2 is a primary factor and it would be a heck of a lot colder than it would have been without it.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2009
Has anyone ever looked at an IR transmission chart?
CO2 absorbs photons in specific bands and radiates in specific bands. Each molecule does this, 1 photon at a time, one molecule at a time. Given the total photo flux from the sun is limited, there is a limit to the number of photons absorbed regardless of the number of CO2 molecules.
"Because a linear increase in temperature requires an exponential increase in carbon dioxide (thanks to the physics of radiation absorption described above), we know that the next two-fold increase in CO2 will produce exactly the same temperature increase as the previous two-fold increase. "
http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

pauldentler
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2009
we know that the next two-fold increase in CO2 will produce exactly the same temperature increase as the previous two-fold increase. "
http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

So what is your explanation for the temperature drop we've measured for the past ten years? Increasing CO2?
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2009
we know that the next two-fold increase in CO2 will produce exactly the same temperature increase as the previous two-fold increase. "
http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

So what is your explanation for the temperature drop we've measured for the past ten years? Increasing CO2?

I see your point. I was trying to point out that there is a limit to the amount of heat CO2 can absorb. Doubling the amount of CO2 won't absorb twice as much energy (unless the amount of energy available to absorb doubles as well.) I good analogy I read was doubling the number of shades on a window won't make the room twice as dark.

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

European climate at the +2 C global warming threshold

A global warming of 2 C relative to pre-industrial climate has been considered as a threshold which society should endeavor to remain below, in order to limit the dangerous effects of anthropogenic climate change.

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...