Monday, May 30, 2011

World CO2 Emissions See Record Jump

Somehow The Guardian got ahold of some unpublished IEA data that shows CO2 emissions set a record in 2010, up to 30.6 gigatons. The Chief Economist of the IEA is concerned:
"I am very worried. This is the worst news on emissions," Birol told the Guardian. "It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2 degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say."

At 1.6 Gt, last year's increase is also the biggest yearly increase since the IEA began keeping records in 1971. That's perhaps understandable coming out of a serious global recession, but what is worrisome is that carbon intensity, after decades of steadily decreasing, has continued to be flat at 0.73 mt/$1000 (in 2000 dollars):

I suppose this is mostly because world oil production/usage has plateaued in recent years and the world is turning to coal instead, and coal is more CO2 intensive than oil. But I'm not really sure.

UPDATE: So I guess this doesn't look like such good news after all....

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