18 Nov 2009:
Massive CO2 Increases
Documented in Comprehensive New Study
Emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels soared by 41 percent from 1990 to 2008
and have jumped 29 percent since 2000, according to one of the most comprehensive studies to date of global carbon emissions. The study’s lead author, Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey, said that unless these runaway emissions are soon brought under control, global temperatures would likely rise by 9 to 11 degrees F by 2100
, an increase that most scientists say could lead to catastrophic changes, including rapid melting of polar ice sheets. Le Quere’s study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience
, said that humanity was pouring so much CO2 into the atmosphere that the ability of oceans, forests, and soils to absorb the gas was diminishing. These carbon sinks, which absorbed 60 percent of atmospheric CO2 in 1950, are now absorbing only 55 percent, the study said. The study reported that for the first time, more CO2 is being emitted by burning coal than burning oil, and that developing countries are now emitting more CO2
than developed countries. CO2 emissions increased at an average annual rate of 3.4 percent from 2000 to 2008 and, after a slight dip this year because of the global recession, are expected to rise rapidly again in 2010, the study said.
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