Global Carbon emissions continue to grow in 2013

Global carbon budget 2013Global carbon budget 2013By Tim Radford - Climate News Network - Original article. The world's emissions of the main greenhouse gas produced by human activities, carbon dioxide, in 2013 are expected to be nearly two-thirds higher than in 1990.

LONDON, 30 December - Global carbon dioxide emissions are likely to hit 36 billion tonnes in 2013, according to new research from the University of East Anglia in the UK. This is a small rise – an estimated 2.1% - on 2012, but it will be 61% above the levels in 1990, which is the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol was agreed by most of the world’s concerned nations, anxious to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and contain warming to a global average of 2°C. So the 2013 carbon budget is not being hailed as a great success.

Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point

Artcile originally published at A new report on permafrost slowly thawing in the Arctic creating methane and carbon dioxide emissions highlights an approaching dangerous climate tipping point. There is a huge amount of organic matter frozen in permafrost, estimated to contain 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon, twice the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere. And it is starting to melt. With no way to stop it except indirectly through us reducing the rate of global warming by reducing our own emissions.

"The release of carbon dioxide and methane from warming permafrost is irreversible: once the organic matter thaws and decays away, there is no way to put it back into the permafrost," said lead author Kevin Schaefer, from the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center.

"Anthropogenic emissions' targets in the climate change treaty need to account for these emissions or we risk overshooting the 2°C maximum warming target," he added.

The report - Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost (PDF)
- was published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and
launched at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) at Doha on November 27. (See media release)

CO2 and methane emissions from thawing Permafrost

CO2 and methane emissions from thawing Permafrost

Figure 22: CO2 and methane emissions from thawing permafrost can continue for decades or even centuries, as seen in this plot of estimated annual permafrost emissions in CO2 equivalent for the IPCC A1B scenario. In this scenario, anthropogenic emissions stop in 2100, but permafrost CO2 and methane emissions continue well past 2200 (Schaefer et al.

Plant Carbon sequestration capacity in a high CO2 world overestimated

With climate change stimulating plant growth due to elevated CO2 concentrations climate models calculated this would also stimulate uptake and sequestration of carbon. But a new long term (13 year) study looking at plant biomass growth in a high CO2 environment with Nitrogen nutrients indicates that plants also require enriched soil nitrogen to escalate uptake and sequestration of carbon from elevated CO2. Soil nitrogen just cannot be increased on a widespread basis.

Caption: The relative effect of elevated CO2 on mean plant biomass (g m−2; above-ground plus 0–20 cm depth fine-root biomass measured twice per year) at ambient and enriched N levels for two periods, early in the experiment (1998–2000) or during the following 10 years (2001–2010). The relative effect was calculated as (annual mean biomass at elevated CO2–annual mean biomass at ambient CO2) at each N treatment level. One standard error of the among-year means is shown.

Related: Rising atmospheric Carbon Dioxide levels threaten crop yields and food security

Effects of CO2 on total plant biomass

Effects of CO2 on total plant biomass

Caption: The relative effect of elevated CO2 on mean plant biomass (g m−2; above-ground plus 0–20 cm depth fine-root biomass measured twice per year) at ambient and enriched N levels for two periods, early in the experiment (1998–2000) or during the following 10 years (2001–2010).

Ocean acidification increasing at unprecedented rate not seen in last 300 million years

In a new study marine scientists warn that the rate of ocean acidification presently occurring is unprecedented in the last 300 million years. This is due to dissolving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, much of which human activity has contributed over the last 200 years through the use of fossil fuels. The extent of the acidification and rate of acidification enhances the prospect for a mass marine extinction event this century.

Related: Dec 2011 - Ocean acidification warning to Durban climate negotiators to act on reducing CO2 emissions | June 2011 - Oceans at high risk of unprecedented Marine extinction scientists warn | April 2010 - Paleo-perspectives on ocean acidification - marine ecosystems under threat | Feb 2010 - Marine Extinction looms with Ocean Acidification increasing

Correlation of atmospheric CO2, ocean CO2, and change in seawater pH

Correlation of atmospheric CO2, ocean CO2, and change in seawater pH

Caption: This graph shows the correlation between rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere at Mauna Loa with rising CO2 levels in the nearby ocean at Station Aloha. As more CO2 accumulates in the ocean, the pH of the ocean decreases. (Modified after R.A.

Afforestation no substitute for reducing CO2 emissions say scientists

A new scientific study published in Nature Geoscience says that major afforestation will have little impact on slowing global warming and that "afforestation is not a substitute for reduced greenhouse-gas emissions".

Australia: Cap Grim Greenhouse gas website launched by CSIRO scientists

The CSIRO and Australian Bureau of Meteorology have launched a website showing the monthly data for greenhouse gases measured at the windswept Cap Grim Station located in the path of the roaring forties gale force winds on the west coast of Tasmania. Cape Grim is one of three important baseline atmospheric stations for measuring background greenhouse gases, the other two being Mauna Loa in the middle of the Pacific and Alert Weather Station on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. About 15 other stations around the world also collect and track atmospheric emissions data.

Global Carbon emissions achieve record high in 2010

Global CO2 emissons have reached a new record high of 30.6 Gigatonnes during 2010 exceeding by 5% the previous record of 29.3 Gt set in 2008. Emissions dipped during the Global Financial Crisis as global industrial production decreased.

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