Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Record high for global carbon emissions

Date:
December 2, 2012
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Global carbon dioxide emissions are set to rise again in 2012, reaching a record high of 35.6 billion tonnes - according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project. The 2.6 per cent rise projected for 2012 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 58 per cent above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol. This latest analysis shows the biggest contributors to global emissions in 2011 were China (28 per cent), the United States (16 per cent), the European Union (11 per cent), and India (7 per cent).

Shanghai. The biggest contributor to global emissions in 2011 was China (28 per cent).
Credit: © chungking / Fotolia

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are set to rise again in 2012, reaching a record high of 35.6 billion tonnes -- according to new figures from the Global Carbon Project, co-led by researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The 2.6 per cent rise projected for 2012 means global emissions from burning fossil fuel are 58 per cent above 1990 levels, the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol.

This latest analysis by the Global Carbon Project is published December 2 in the journal Nature Climate Change with full data released simultaneously by the journal Earth System Science Data Discussions.

It shows the biggest contributors to global emissions in 2011 were China (28 per cent), the United States (16 per cent), the European Union (11 per cent), and India (7 per cent).

Emissions in China and India grew by 9.9 and 7.5 per cent in 2011, while those of the United States and the European Union decreased by 1.8 and 2.8 per cent.

Emissions per person in China of 6.6 tonnes of CO2 were nearly as high as those of the European Union (7.3), but still below the 17.2 tonnes of carbon used in the United States. Emissions in India were lower at 1.8 tonnes of carbon per person.

Prof Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and professor at UEA, led the publication of the data. She said: "These latest figures come amidst climate talks in Doha. But with emissions continuing to grow, it's as if no-one is listening to the entire scientific community."

The 2012 rise further opens the gap between real-world emissions and those required to keep global warming below the international target of two degrees.

"I am worried that the risks of dangerous climate change are too high on our current emissions trajectory. We need a radical plan," added Prof Corinne Le Quéré.

The analysis published in Nature Climate Change shows significant emission reductions are needed by 2020 to keep two degrees as a feasible goal.

It shows previous energy transitions in Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden, and the UK have led to emission reductions as high as 5 per cent each year over decade-long periods, even without climate policy.

Lead author Dr Glen Peters, of the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Norway, said: "Scaling up similar energy transitions across more countries can kick-start global mitigation with low costs. To deepen and sustain these energy transitions in a broad range of countries requires aggressive policy drivers."

Co-author Dr Charlie Wilson, of the Tyndall Centre at UEA, added: "Public policies and institutions have a central role to play in supporting the widespread deployment of low carbon and efficient energy-using technologies, and in supporting innovation efforts."

Emissions from deforestation and other land-use change added 10 per cent to the emissions from burning fossil fuels. The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere reached 391 parts per million (ppm) at the end of 2011.

These results lends further urgency to recent reports that current emissions pathways are already dangerously high and could lead to serious impacts and high costs on society. These other analyses come from the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, the European Environment Agency, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Glen P. Peters, Robbie M. Andrew, Tom Boden, Josep G. Canadell, Philippe Ciais, Corinne Le Quéré, Gregg Marland, Michael R. Raupach, Charlie Wilson. The challenge to keep global warming below 2 °C. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1783
  2. C. Le Quéré, R. J. Andres, T. Boden, T. Conway, R. A. Houghton, J. I. House, G. Marland, G. P. Peters, G. van der Werf, A. Ahlström, R. M. Andrew, L. Bopp, J. G. Canadell, P. Ciais, S. C. Doney, C. Enright, P. Friedlingstein, C. Huntingford, A. K. Jain, C. Jourdain, E. Kato, R. F. Keeling, K. Klein Goldewijk, S. Levis, P. Levy, M. Lomas, B. Poulter, M. R. Raupach, J. Schwinger, S. Sitch, B. D. Stocker, N. Viovy, S. Zaehle, N. Zeng. The global carbon budget 1959–2011. Earth System Science Data Discussions, 2012; 5 (2): 1107 DOI: 10.5194/essdd-5-1107-2012

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Record high for global carbon emissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121202164059.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2012, December 2). Record high for global carbon emissions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121202164059.htm
University of East Anglia. "Record high for global carbon emissions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121202164059.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins