The paper – by scientists from the internationally respected climate research group, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) – says rising emissions from fossil fuels last year were caused mainly by increased use of coal but there were minor decreases in emissions from oil and deforestation.
"The current growth in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is closely linked to growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," said one of the paper's lead authors, CSIRO's Dr Mike Raupach.
"CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are estimated to have increased 41 per cent above 1990 levels with emissions continuing to track close to the worst-case scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
"There will be a small downturn in emissions because of the GFC, but anthropogenic emissions growth will resume when the economy recovers unless the global effort to reduce emissions from human activity is accelerated."
The GCP estimates that the growth in emissions from developing countries increased in part due to the production of manufactured goods consumed in developed countries. In China alone, 50 per cent of the growth in emissions from 2002 to 2005 was attributed to the country's export industries.
According to the GCP's findings, atmospheric CO2 growth was about four billion metric tonnes of carbon in 2008 and global atmospheric CO2 concentrations reached 385 parts per million – 38 per cent above pre-industrial levels.
According to co-author and GCP Executive Director, CSIRO's Dr Pep Canadell, the findings also indicate that natural carbon sinks, which play an important role in buffering the impact of rising emissions from human activity, have not been able to keep pace with rising CO2 levels.
"On average only 45 per cent of each year's emissions remain in the atmosphere," Dr Canadell said.
"The remaining 55 per cent is absorbed by land and ocean sinks.
"However, CO2 sinks have not kept pace with rapidly increasing emissions, as the fraction of emissions remaining in the atmosphere has increased over the past 50 years. This is of concern as it indicates the vulnerability of the sinks to increasing emissions and climate change, making natural sinks less efficient 'cleaners' of human carbon pollution."
More than 30 experts from major international climate research institutions contributed to the GCP's annual Global Carbon Budget report – now considered a primary reference on the human effects on atmospheric CO2 for governments and policy-makers around the world.
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy