Photo via the Tech Herald
I've come to dread the words 'New Report'. News items that start with those words never end up like "New Report: Puppies Making People Happier Than Ever" or "New Study: Researchers Determine All is Well in World". No, more often they bring contents more similar to our subject today: according to a new report by the Global Carbon Project, despite the worldwide recession, carbon emissions have continued to rise. And a 6 degree Celsius rise in temperatures looks to be headed our way. Science Daily reports that 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 November 17 in the journal Nature Geoscience." They've found that emissions have risen globally by 29% since 2000, with an annual increase of between 2-3% despite the economic woes.
This growth in emissions is attributed to a number of factors, chief among them being developing nations. While rich countries' emissions levels more or less plateaued due in part to economic stress (and are already on average much higher), developing nations continue to emit more and more greenhouse gases every year (via the BBC):
Also responsible are our vanishing carbon sinks like forests and marine life. Science Daily reports that
"over the last 50 years the average fraction of global CO2 emissions that remained in the atmosphere each year was around 40 per cent -- the rest was absorbed by the Earth's carbon sinks on land and in the oceans. During this time this fraction has likely increased from 40 per cent to 45 per cent, suggesting a decrease in the efficiency of the natural sinks.The Global Carbon Fund has found that continuing this trajectory will land us with a rise of 5 or 6 degrees Celsius in temperatures--making the next couple years our last serious opportunity to quell the worst of climate change. I hope Obama, Mr. Hu Jintao, and especially the US Senate are paying attention.
More on Global Climate Change:
On Global Climate Change : Demand 350, Demand Organic
One Million People Pledge Support for Global Climate Action