Australian news, and some related international items

2013 the record year for carbon emissions

globe-warmingCarbon emissions most in history–most-in-history-20131119-2xtnh.html#ixzz2lDChdy76   November 20, 2013    Journalist at The Canberra Times. The world will release more carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels in 2013 than any other year in human history, putting it on track to reach 2C above pre-industrial times in 30 years.

That is the verdict of the Global Carbon Project’s annual carbon budget, a report card on carbon for the world, released on Wednesday.The report, put together by leading scientists, says worldwide carbon emissions caused by burning fossil fuels will reach 36billion tonnes in 2013, an unprecedented level.

It says worldwide carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels are set to grow 2.1 per cent this year, slightly less than the average 3.1 per cent since 2000. The Global Carbon Project is based in Canberra and led by CSIRO marine and atmospheric research scientist Josep Canadell.

It brings together experts from around the world to collaborate in measuring greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.The scientists consider worldwide energy consumption and the resulting carbon emissions, and the impact of changing land use and deforestation. They also take into account how much carbon gets taken up by plants and trees and how much ends up in the ocean,

then use the information to report on how much carbon dioxide humans are emitting and how much is ending up in the atmosphere.

Report co-author Michael Raupach, a CSIRO fellow, said if worldwide emissions continued to grow as they had since 2000, the Earth’s climate would warm by 2C, a temperature international policymakers have agreed should not be exceeded.

”Worldwide, emissions have not peaked and started to decline,” he said The countries and regions responsible for the largest portion of worldwide emissions in 2012 were China, at 27 per cent, the USA, 14 per cent, the European Union, 10 per cent and India, 6 per cent.

The USA and European Union managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2012 by 3.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, but China and India increased their emissions by 5.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent each.In 2012, China was responsible for the largest increase in emissions at 71 per cent and the USA for the largest decrease of 26 per cent.

Australia contributed a 6 per cent decrease in overall emissions.

In 2012, burning coal was the biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Dr Raupach said a particularly large amount of carbon had been absorbed by the land in 2011, because a lot of rain and indirect radiation from the sun meant plants grew strongly and absorbed CO2. ”The land sink was amazingly strong, an all-time record in that year, and in 2012 it was a lot weaker … and came back something close to the trend over the last decade,” he said.


November 19, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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