Reply To: CO2 emissions accelerating

Martin W

    More grim news, in Scientific American website:

    The world may finally acknowledge that global warming is a major environmental hazard. But new research shows that reducing the main greenhouse gas behind it may be even more difficult than previously believed. The reason: the world’s oceans and forests, which scientists were counting on to help hold off catastrophic rises in carbon dioxide, are already so full of CO2 that they are losing their ability to absorb this climate change culprit.

    “For every ton of CO2 emitted [into] the atmosphere, the natural sinks are removing less carbon than before,” says biologist Josep “Pep” Canadell, executive director of the Global Carbon Project—an Australia–based research consortium devoted to analyzing the pollution behind global warming. “This trend will continue into the future.”

    Specifically, oceans and plant growth absorbed only around 540 kilograms per metric ton (1,190 pounds per short ton) of the CO2 produced in 2006, compared with 600 kilograms per metric ton (1,322 pounds per short ton) in 2000. Coupled with an emissions growth rate of 3.3 percent—triple the growth rate of the 1990s—the atmospheric burden is now rising by nearly two parts per million of CO2 a year, the fastest growth rate since 1850, the international team of researchers reports in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

    Climate Change Pollution Rising—Thanks to Overwhelmed Oceans and Plants