Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CO2 emissions rate "more than doubled since the 1990s" - Report

CO2 emissions rate "more than doubled since the 1990s" - Report
From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!

Atmospheric scientists warn that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing more rapidly, despite global efforts to curb the use of fossil fuels.

New research by Australia's CSIRO shows the rate of increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has more than doubled since 1990. According to CSIRO 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.

Data from the Cape Grim air pollution monitoring station in north-west Tasmania shows carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 2.5 per cent each year for the past five years. "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.

Dr Raupach, who also co-chairs the international Global Carbon Project, was surprised by his research results. "It shows recent efforts globally to reduce emissions have had little impact on emissions growth," he said. The CSIRO found that in global terms, China has the highest current growth rate in CO2 emissions although it's emissions per person are below the global average. China's accumulated contribution since the start the 1800s is only five per cent of the global total. The USA and Europe have each contributed more than 25 per cent of accumulated global emissions.

Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere — a separate measure to carbon emissions — had also increased at an unprecedented rate. 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 said.

He says 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."

* "Increase in carbon dioxide emissions accelerating". CSIRO, November 27, 2006
* Deborah Smith, Science Editor "Greenhouse emission rate doubles". Sydney Morning Herald, November 28, 2006
* Rachel Kleinman "Carbon emission rises shock experts". The Age, November 28, 2006
* "Scientists find carbon dioxide emissions rapidly increasing". Radio New Zealand, November 28, 2006
* "CO2 emissions accelerating, scientists warn". Australian Broadcasting Corporation, November 28, 2006

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