Carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled this decade

Washington, Nov 25 ( The annual carbon dioxide emission rate has more than tripled this decade, compared to the nineties, according to an international consortium of scientists.

The emissions increased at a rate of 3.4 percent per year from 2000 to 2008, as compared to one percent each year over the the previous decade, scientists from the Global Carbon Project report.

The team comprises some 30 researchers from around the world, including Scott C. Doney, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Richard A. Houghton, senior scientist and acting director of the Woods Hole Research Centre (WHRC).

Since 2000, the scientists documented an overall increase of 29 percent in global carbon dioxide emissions. They attributed the rise to increasing production and trade of manufactured products, particularly from emerging economies, the gradual shift from oil to coal and the planet’s waning capacity to absorb the gas that is the main cause of global warming.

Doney led a team that developed ocean-model simulations for estimating the historical variations in air-sea carbon dioxide fluxes.

“Over the last decade, CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions have continued to climb despite efforts to control emissions,” he said. “Preliminary evidence suggests that the land and ocean may be becoming less effective at removing CO2 from the atmosphere, which could accelerate future climate change.”

A key element of the report, according to Doney, was the work of Houghton, acting director of WHRC. “He developed the estimates of carbon emissions from deforestation, a major source of human-driven carbon emissions,” Doney said, according to WHOI release.

“Although the emissions of CO2 from deforestation accounted for only about 15 percent of total CO2 emissions over the period 2000-2008, reducing deforestation is one of the activities that could contribute significantly to stabilising the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere,” Houghton said.

These finding were published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience.