2009 carbon emissions higher than expected

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
November 22, 2010



Despite a global economic recession and ongoing concerns about the impacts of climate change, last year's global carbon emissions were the second highest on record, according to the Global Carbon Project (GCP). Emissions in 2009 were just below the record emissions of 2008. In addition, 2009 emissions were higher than predicted, falling by only 1.3% from 2008 to 2009, instead of the predicted 2.8%.

While carbon emissions dropped in much of the industrialized world due to faltering economies, they rose during 2009 in the developing world's growing economies, such as China (up by 8%), India (up 6%), and South Korea (up 1%). Carbon intensity, which measures the amount of carbon emitted relative to global GDP, also did not improve as much as forecasters hoped. On average, carbon intensity has improved by 1.7% a year, however in 2009 it only improved by 0.7%.

Experts also predicted that this year, 2010, could become the new record holder for carbon emissions, despite the slow economic uptick from the recession.

In good news, emissions from deforestation have fallen by 25% since 2000, largely due to declining rainforest destruction in places like Brazil.

Currently, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have hit 387 parts per million (ppm), rising over 100 ppm since the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

Scientists overwhelming agree that climate change is caused by humans burning fossil fuels and felling forests. The worldwide phenomena is expected to lead to rising sea levels, widespread species extinction, worsening droughts in some areas and floods in others, increasing incidents of severe weather, melting poles, and expanding desertification, among many other impacts.

Officials from around the world are meeting next week at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, however many doubt a global agreement will be reached at the meeting.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (November 22, 2010).

2009 carbon emissions higher than expected.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/1122-hance_2009_carbon.html