According to the co-Chair of the Global Carbon Project, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research scientist Dr Mike Raupach, 7.9 billion tonnes of carbon were emitted into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide in 2005 and the rate of increase is accelerating.
“From 2000 to 2005, the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions was more than 2.5 per cent per year, whereas in the 1990s it was less than one per cent per year,” Dr Raupach says.
He says this indicates that recent efforts globally to reduce emissions have had little impact on emissions growth. “Recent emissions seem to be near the high end of the fossil fuel use scenarios used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). On our current path, it will be difficult to rein-in carbon emissions enough to stabilise the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at 450 ppm.”
Dr Raupach’s figures show that while China demonstrates the highest current growth rate in emissions, its emissions per person are still below the global average and its accumulated contribution since the start of the industrial revolution around 1800 is only five per cent of the global total. This compares to the US and Europe which have each contributed more than 25 per cent of accumulated global emissions.
Dr Raupach says that the amount of emitted carbon dioxide remaining in the atmosphere fluctuates from year to year due to natural factors such as El Niño. However, he says that on average, nearly half of all emissions from fossil fuel use and land-use changes remain in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed by the land and oceans. “When natural variability is smoothed out, 45 per cent of emissions have remained in the atmosphere each year over the past 50 years,” he says.
“A danger is that the land and oceans might take up less carbon dioxide in the future than they have in the past, which would increase the rate of climate change caused by emissions.”
The latest findings on greenhouse gas emissions are supported by measurements of the subsequent concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Dr Paul Fraser, also from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, says that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide grew by two parts per million in 2005, the fourth year in a row of above-average growth. “To have four years in a row of above-average carbon dioxide growth is unprecedented,” Dr Fraser says.
“The latest findings on greenhouse gas emissions are supported by measurements of the subsequent concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”Dr Fraser says the 30-year record of air collected at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s observation station in Cape Grim, showed growth rates of just over one part per million in the early 1980s, but in recent years carbon dioxide has increased at almost twice this rate. “The trend over recent years suggests the growth rate is accelerating, signifying that fossil fuels are having an impact on greenhouse gas concentrations in a way we haven’t seen in the past.”
Drs Raupach and Fraser presented their latest findings last week during the Annual Science Meeting at Tasmania’s Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station, which is managed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to monitor and study global atmospheric composition in a program led by CSIRO and the Bureau.
Simon Torok | EurekAlert!
Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic
24.10.2016 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk
20.10.2016 | European Geosciences Union
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy