Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CO2 emissions increasing faster than expected

23.05.2007
Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have accelerated globally at a far greater rate than expected over recent years

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels – the principal driver of climate change – have accelerated globally at a far greater rate than expected over recent years, according to a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The paper explains that the average growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions increased from 1.1 per cent a year in the 1990s to a three per cent increase per year in the 2000s.

Lead author of the paper, Dr Mike Raupach from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research and the Global Carbon Project, says that nearly eight billion tonnes of carbon were emitted globally into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide in 2005, compared with just six billion tonnes in 1995.

"A major driver of the accelerating growth rate in emissions is that, globally, we’re burning more carbon per dollar of wealth created," Dr Raupach says. In the last few years, the global usage of fossil fuels has actually become less efficient. This adds to pressures from increasing population and wealth."

"As countries undergo industrial development, they move through a period of intensive, and often inefficient, use of fossil fuel. Efficiencies improve along this development trajectory, but eventually tend to level off. Industrialised countries such as Australia and the US are at the levelling-off stage, while developing countries such as China are at the intensive-development stage. Both factors are decreasing the global efficiency of fossil fuel use."

He says that China’s emissions per person are still below the global average. "On average, each person in Australia and the US now emits more than five tonnes of carbon per year, while in China the figure is only one tonne per year. Since the start of the industrial revolution, the US and Europe account for more than 50 per cent of the total, accumulated global emissions over two centuries, while China accounts for less than eight per cent. The 50 least developed countries have together contributed less than 0.5 per cent of global cumulative emissions over 200 years."

Dr Raupach says that Australia, with 0.32 per cent of the global population, contributes 1.43 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.

He says 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). Our results add to previous findings that carbon dioxide concentrations, global temperatures and sea level rise are all near the high end of IPCC projections."

Dr Raupach led an international team of carbon-cycle experts, emissions experts and economists, brought together by the Global Carbon Project, to quantify global carbon emissions and their drivers.

"In addition to reinforcing the urgency of the need to reduce emissions, an important outcome of this work is to show that carbon emissions have history. We have to take both present and past emissions trajectories into account in negotiating global emissions reductions. To be effective, emissions reductions have to be both workable and equitable," he says.

Simon Torok | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
28.06.2017 | Frontiers

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>