Greenhouse gase emissions accelerating

From the Global Carbon Project:

Today the new Global Carbon Budget was launched simultaneously by Global Carbon Project co‐chair
Michael Raupach in France at the Paris Observatory, and in the USA at Capitol Hill, Washington by
GCP Executive Director Pep Canadell.
The Global Carbon Project posted the most recent figures for the worlds’ carbon budget, a key
to understanding the balance of carbon added to the atmosphere, the underpinning of human
induced climate change. Despite the increasing international sense of urgency, the growth
rate of emissions continued to speed up, bringing the atmospheric CO2 concentration to 383
parts per million (ppm) in 2007.
Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been growing about four times faster since 2000 than
during the previous decade, despite efforts to curb emissions in a number of Kyoto Protocol
signatory countries. Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel and land use change reached
10 billion tones of carbon in 2007. Natural CO2 sinks are growing but slower than the
atmospheric CO2 growth, which has been increasing at 2 ppm since 2000 or 33% faster than
the previous 20 years.
Dr. Pep Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project said "This new update of the
carbon budget shows the acceleration of both CO2 emissions and atmospheric accumulation
are unprecedented and most astonishing during a decade of intense international
developments to address climate change.”
Emissions growth for 2000-2007 was above even the most fossil fuel intensive scenario of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (SRES-IPCC). While the developing nations of
China and India continue to increase emissions, China has improved the carbon intensity of
their economy since 2005, based on data from the National Energy Administration in China.
Decreasing forest cover, almost exclusively from deforestation in tropical countries, was
responsible for an estimated 1.5 billion tons of emissions to the atmosphere above what was
gained through new plantings. Although the oceans carbon uptake was expected to rise with
the higher atmospheric concentration of CO2, in 2007 it was reduced by a net 10 million tons.
Natural land and ocean CO2 sinks, which have removed 54% (or 4.8 billion tons per year) of
all CO2 emitted from human activities during the period 2000-2007, are now becoming less
efficient. While the size of these sinks continues to grow in response to greater concentrations
of CO2 in the atmosphere, they are losing efficiency as feedbacks between the carbon cycle
and climate increase.
The Global Carbon Budget is the result of an international collaboration through the Global Carbon
Project by Corinne Le Quéré (University of East Anglia/British Antarctic Survey, UK)¶; Michael
Raupach (CSIRO, Australia)*; Philippe Ciais (Commissariat a L'Energie Atomique,
France)§,;Thomas Conway (NOOA, USA) 2; Christopher Field (Carnegie Institution of Washington,
USA)**; Richard A. Houghton (Woods Hole Research Center, USA)∞; Gregg Marland (Carbon
Dioxide Information Analysis Center, USA) ‡; Pep Canadell (CSIRO, Australia)*.
¶University of East Anglia/British Antarctic Survey, School of Environment Sciences, Norwich, 1 NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom;
*Global Carbon Project, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Marine and Atmospheric Research,
Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia; §Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique, Laboratorie des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement,
Gif sur Yvette, 91191, France; 2National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder,
CO 80305-3328 **Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Global Ecology, Stanford, CA 94305; ∞Woods Hole
Research Center, Falmouth, MA 02540-1644; ‡Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak
Ridge, TN 37831

more info: Global Carbon Project

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