Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Carbon Emissions Exceed Highest Assumptions Used in Climate Change Studies
Peter N. Spotts, Christian Science Monitor, Posted on Alternet.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide are growing at a faster clip than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports.
CO2 emissions from cars, factories, and power plants grew at an annual rate of 1.1 percent during the 1990s, according to the Global Carbon Project, which is a data clearinghouse set up in 2001 as a cooperative effort among UN-related groups and other scientific organizations. But from 2000 to 2004, CO2 emissions rates almost tripled to 3 percent a year - higher than any rate used in emissions scenarios for the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
If the higher rate represents more than a blip, stabilizing emissions by 2100 will be more difficult than the latest UN reports indicate, some analysts say. And to avoid the most serious effects of global warming, significant cuts in CO2 emissions must begin sooner than the IPCC reports suggest. At the moment, no region of the world is "decarbonizing its energy supply," the analysis says.