Wednesday, June 01, 2011

30.6 Billion Metric Tons Carbon-dioxide Emissions - 2010


Worldwide carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels reached a record 30.6 billion metric tons in 2010, an international energy group reports. (1 metric ton = 2204.6 lbs)

A reviving world economy was behind the 5% increase from 2008, mainly led by China's and India's growing industries, says the International Energy Agency, based in Paris. Hopes of dampening global warming are dropping with such increases, the agency warned.

"Our latest estimates are another wake-up call," said IEA economist Fatih Birol, in a statement. Emissions dropped slightly in 2009, following the previous record year.

"It is, I guess, remarkable how quickly emissions have rebounded following the recession," says climate scientist Myles Allen of the United Kingdom's Oxford University.

Despite hopes that the global recession could lead to more efficient and lower-emission energy use, he adds, "That seems to have been wishful thinking."

In May, a report from the U.S. National Research Council warned that "the risk of dangerous climate change impacts is growing with every ton of greenhouse gases."

Sea-level rise, heat waves and drought in Southwestern states could follow, the report warned.

Greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide, raise atmospheric temperatures because they are transparent to sunlight but trap heat. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have risen about 23% since 1958, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...

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