Recent CO2 Increases: “Astonishing”

Recent CO2 Increases: “Astonishing”

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“Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been growing
about four times faster since 2000 than during
the previous decade …”

” Š the acceleration of both CO2 emissions and
atmospheric accumulation are Š astonishing during
a decade of intense international developments to
address climate change.”
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Global Carbon Project
Public release date: 25-Sep-2008

Contact: Pep Canadell
Pep.Canadell@csiro.au
61-407-068-930

Growth in the global carbon budget
Updated global carbon budget released

Today the new Global Carbon Budget was launched
simultaneously by Global Carbon Project co-chair
Michael Raupach in France at the Paris
Observatory, and in the USA at Capitol Hill,
Washington by GCP Executive Director Pep Canadell.

The Global Carbon Project posted the most recent
figures for the worlds’ carbon budget, a key to
understanding the balance of carbon added to the
atmosphere, the underpinning of human induced
climate change. Despite the increasing
international sense of urgency, the growth rate
of emissions continued to speed up, bringing the
atmospheric CO2 concentration to 383 parts per
million (ppm) in 2007.

Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been growing
about four times faster since 2000 than during
the previous decade, despite efforts to curb
emissions in a number of Kyoto Protocol signatory
countries. Emissions from the combustion of
fossil fuel and land use change reached 10
billion tones of carbon in 2007. Natural CO2
sinks are growing but slower than the atmospheric
CO2 growth, which has been increasing at 2 ppm
since 2000 or 33% faster than the previous 20
years.

Dr. Pep Canadell, executive director of the
Global Carbon Project said “This new update of
the carbon budget shows the acceleration of both
CO2 emissions and atmospheric accumulation are
unprecedented and most astonishing during a
decade of intense international developments to
address climate change.”

Emissions growth for 2000-2007 was above even the
most fossil fuel intensive scenario of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(SRES-IPCC). While the developing nations of
China and India continue to increase emissions,
China has improved the carbon intensity of their
economy since 2005, based on data from the
National Energy Administration in China.

Decreasing forest cover, almost exclusively from
deforestation in tropical countries, was
responsible for an estimated 1.5 billion tons of
emissions to the atmosphere above what was gained
through new plantings. Although the oceans carbon
uptake was expected to rise with the higher
atmospheric concentration of CO2, in 2007 it was
reduced by a net 10 million tons.

Natural land and ocean CO2 sinks, which have
removed 54% (or 4.8 billion tons per year) of all
CO2 emitted from human activities during the
period 2000-2007, are now becoming less
efficient. While the size of these sinks
continues to grow in response to greater
concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, they are
losing efficiency as feedbacks between the carbon
cycle and climate increase.

###

The Global Carbon Budget is the result of an
international collaboration through the Global
Carbon Project by Corinne Le Quéré (University of
East Anglia/British Antarctic Survey, UK)¶; Mike
Raupach (CSIRO, Australia)*; Philippe Ciais
(Commissariat a L’Energie Atomique,
France)§,;Thomas Conway (NOOA, USA) 2; Chris
Field (Carnegie Institution of Washington,
USA)**; Skee Houghton (Woods Hole Research
Center, USA)ƒ; Gregg Marland (Carbon Dioxide
Information Analysis Center, USA) ý; Pep Canadell
(CSIRO, Australia)*.

¶University of East Anglia/British Antarctic
Survey, School of Environment Sciences, Norwich,
1 NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom; *Global Carbon
Project, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation Marine and Atmospheric
Research, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia;
§Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique, Laboratorie
des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Gif
sur Yvette, 91191, France; 2National Atmospheric
and Oceanic Administration, Earth System Research
Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80305-3328 **Carnegie
Institution of Washington, Department of Global
Ecology, Stanford, CA 94305; ƒWoods Hole Research
Center, Falmouth, MA 02540-1644; ýCarbon Dioxide
Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831

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