Azara Blog: Global CO2 emissions have accelerated the last five years

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Date published: 2006/11/28

The BBC says:

The rise in humanity's emissions of carbon dioxide has accelerated sharply, according to a new analysis.

The Global Carbon Project says that emissions were rising by less than 1% annually up to the year 2000, but are now rising at 2.5% per year.

It says the acceleration comes mainly from a rise in charcoal consumption and a lack of new energy efficiency gains.
The Global Carbon Project draws its data from a wide range of sources, including measurements of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and studies on fossil fuel use.

From that data, researchers have extracted two trends which they believe explain the sharp upturn found around the year 2000.

"There has been a change in the trend regarding fossil fuel intensity, which is basically the amount of carbon you need to burn for a given unit of wealth," explained Corinne Le Quere, a Global Carbon Project member who holds posts at the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey.

"From about 1970 the intensity decreased - we became more efficient at using energy - but we've been getting slightly worse since the year 2000," she told the BBC News website.

"The other trend is that as oil becomes more expensive, we're seeing a switch from oil burning to charcoal which is more polluting in terms of carbon."

The Project does not have data on precisely where this is happening, but there is anecdotal evidence of increases in charcoal burning in parts of Asia and Africa.

You would think, with China opening up a new coal power plant every N days, that the geniuses who work on this subject would have been able to predict this would happen ahead of time. And it's a bit of a pity that they can't blame the Americans for all this increase, that's the usual scapegoat in these matters.

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