Global carbon dioxide emissions reached 36 billion tonnes in 2013

By September 22nd, 2014

At the same time, the pace of emissions from burning fossil fuels continues to grow at a high rate.

Executive-Director of the Global Carbon Project (GCP) and co-author of the 2014 report CSIRO’s Dr Pep Canadell said the carbon dioxide level was “unprecedented in human history”.

Dr Canadell said fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions are projected to increase 2.5 per cent this year, bringing the total carbon dioxide emissions from all sources above 40 billion tonnes.

“Fossil fuel emissions in the past 10 years on average grew at 2.5 per cent per year, lower than the growth rate in the 2000s (which was 3.3 per cent per year) but higher than the growth rate in the 1990s (1 per cent),” Dr Canadell said.

“The declining growth rate in recent years is associated with lower GDP growth compared to the 2000s, particularly in China.”

Fossil fuel emissions in the past 10 years on average grew at 2.5 per cent per year, lower than the growth rate in the 2000s, but higher than the growth rate in the 1990s.”

Dr Pep Canadell

The report shows that Australian emissions continued to decline in 2013, adding to a downward trend that began in 2009, largely due to the decline in electricity generation from coal power plants.

The largest emitters in 2013 were China, USA, the European Union, and India, together accounting for 58 per cent of global emissions.

Fossil fuel emissions are tracking the high end of emissions scenarios used by climate scientists to project climate change using global circulation models.

The GCP provides an annual report of carbon dioxide emissions, land and ocean sinks and accumulation in the atmosphere, incorporating data from multiple research institutes from around the world.

The full data and methods are published today in the journal Earth System Science Data Discussions, with associated papers in the journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change.

Data and other graphic materials can be found at Global Carbon Budget .

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