Science

Carbon emissions on track to rise this year

Carbon emissions on track to rise this year

While carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel and industry in China are expected to rise about 3.5 per cent, after about two years of economic slowdown, India's contribution to the atmospheric build-up would go up by almost 2 per cent, the researchers have found.

Continuing the streak of sad news, atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration reached 403 parts per million in 2016, and is expected to increase by 2.5 parts per million in 2017. The government talks proudly of having cut United Kingdom emissions by 42 per cent since 1990 but this will make little overall difference if other countries continue to increase theirs. Credit: Nature Climate Change. Nevertheless, our results are a reminder that there is no room for complacency if we are to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, which calls for temperatures to be stabilised at "well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels". However, the individual pledges that each nation has submitted are no way near ambitious enough.

The Global Carbon Budget is produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries working under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project (GCP). Although a hot El Niño might not be the same as a sustained warmer climate, it nevertheless serves as a warning of the global warming in store, and underscores the importance of continuing to monitor changes in the Earth system.

China, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, drove the unexpected and rapid growth of emissions in the 2000's and was behind the unexpected recent slowdown. "As GDP rises, we produce more goods, which, by design, produces more emissions", said Robert Jackson, a co-author of the report and professor in earth system science at Stanford University.

In 2017, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to grow by 2% (0.8% to 3%).

Even though China's economy has been growing, coal use began to taper off in the last three years.

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"The return to growth in global emission in 2017 is largely due to a return to growth in Chinese emissions, projected to grow by 3.5% in 2017, after two years with declining emissions".

"The global economy is picking up slowly". Among them are the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Sweden. In many developed countries, the rate of emission reductions has fallen considerably compared to the start of the decade.

In the U.S., emissions are projected to decline 0.4 per cent (minus 2.7 per cent to plus 1.9 per cent) in 2017, lower than the decline of 1.2 per cent per year averaged over the previous decade, with an unexpected rise in coal consumption (GDP up about 2.2 per cent in 2017). Oil use increased and a rise in natural gas prices slightly increased coal use.

After steadying off for three years, a report published on Monday revealed that carbon dioxide emissions are expected to rise by the end of 2017 by about 2 percent. It's not clear how long this will last, as the country scrambles to offer electricity to its 300 million citizens still living in the dark.

Demonstrators dressed as Donald Trump and as a polar bear are seen during a demonstration in Bonn against the COP 23 UN Climate Change Conference hosted by Fiji but held in Bonn, Germany November 11, 2017. This is a tense conference, following President Trump's announcement that he will see to it that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement - which as of a year ago has entered into force.

Stalled CO2 emissions from 2014 through 2016 - due to better energy efficiency, a boom in renewables, and reduced coal use in China - raised expectations that the world had turned the corner. "It is time to take really seriously the implementation of the Paris agreement".