According to new data from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab, global carbon-dioxide emissions just saw their biggest one-year rise, a 6 percent jump in 2010, reports Brad Plumer at the Washington Post. The striking thing is that emissions are now rising faster than the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in its 2007 report. What would this mean for global warming? If emissions keep growing at their current pace, then the average prediction from MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology) models is that the world could heat up over 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. But that’s just the average. And as we keep adding carbon-dioxide into the air, the odds that we’ll be able to dodge a drastic rise in temperatures become very, very low. What would that temperature leap do to the planet? Summarizing the scientific literature, Joe Romm of Climate Progress (http://thinkprogress.org/romm/issue/ ) notes that besides the temperature rise, we’d likely be facing a six-foot sea-level rise by 2100, along with large species loss, many more extreme weather events, and a big hit to the world’s food supply.
Global CO2 Emissions Rising Faster Than Worse Case Scenarios
Rapid spike in CO2 emissions shocks researchers. International attempts at climate regulation have failed on a number of levels. With CO2 emissions rising much more than predicted between 2009 and 2010, the goal of capping global warming at a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius now seems elusive. But political interest in changing course has waned. Der Spiegel