Global carbon emissions to rise 2% in 2017: scientists

Carbon dioxide emissions have started rising again after a three year pause

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 13: A new research suggests that global carbon dioxide emissions are on the rise again after three years of diminutive growth. This stable period, following a growth in emissions of more than 3% annually in the 2000s, fed hopes that many countries were succeeding in separating successful economy-building from increases in world temperatures.

It "tentatively" projects European emissions will decline by 0.2% in 2017, slower than the decline of 2.2% per year averaged over the previous decade.

The research was conducted by University of East Anglia and the Global Carbon Project and the findings were published today simultaneously in the journals Nature Climate Change, Earth System Science Data Discussions and Environmental Research Letters.

"With global Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2ºC let alone 1.5ºC", Le Quere added.

She added that the hurricanes and floods seen earlier this year were "a window into the future". Global emissions need to reach their peak by 2020 and then start falling quickly in order to have a realistic chance of keeping global warming below the 2C danger limit.

What's more, deforestation and other changes in land use are expected to add another 4 billion metric tons of Carbon dioxide, rounding off the total number of Carbon dioxide emissions for 2017 to 41 billion metric tons.

Climate change imperils one in four UN-listed natural heritage sites, including coral reefs, glaciers, and wetlands - almost double the number from just three years ago, a report said Monday. "As GDP rises, we produce more goods, which, by design, produces more emissions", Jackson added.

China's emissions, mainly though coal, account for 28 percent of global emissions. Those from all human activities (fossil fuels, industry, and land-use change) will reach around 41bn tonnes, similar to the record high in 2015. The formal projections put the potential rise at between 0.8 per cent and three per cent.

"The past three years were quite exceptional in so far as that in the whole record, it's the first time that we saw emissions not growing at the same time as the global economy was growing quite strongly", he said.Worldwide, 21 countries, including the US, Denmark and France, have reduced their Carbon dioxide emissions over the last ten years while achieving economic growth. Industrial emissions in the United States are projected to fall by only 0.4 percent in 2017, compared to the 1.2 percent year-to-year average for the last decade. Emissions in the remaining countries, representing about 40% of the global total, are expected to increase by 2.3%. "Coal needs to be rapidly phased out of the global energy mix, while renewables must be ramped up far quicker".

The Global Carbon Project's report appears in the November 13 Environmental Research Letters with detailed data published simultaneously in an Earth System Science Data Discussions paper led by Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia, who is also part of the Global Carbon Project.

"As each year ticks by, the chances of avoiding 2 C of warming continue to diminish", said co-author Glen Peters, research director at Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway.

As with much of science, there is no immediate and conclusive conclusion from these new results. Although India's emissions are projected to grow by just two percent this year - a dramatic shift from over eight percent per year during the last decade - they could easily bump up rapidly if that country's economy recovers from a recent downturn.

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