Global carbon pollution continues to rise

Washington, The world continues to increase the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide it pumps into the air, but it’s not rising as fast as in the previous couple years.

Led by big jumps from China and India, the world is projected to spew 40.57 billion tons (36.8 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air in 2019. That’s up nearly 255 million tons (231 million metric tons) from 2018, according to two scientific studies released Tuesday. The studies by Global Carbon Project, a group of international scientists who track emissions, show a 0.6% increase from last year, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

In previous years, global carbon dioxide emissions grew by 2.1% and 1.5% after a few years in the mid 2010s when global emissions barely rose, according to the studies in Environmental Research Letters. Carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and gas has caused 1.8 degrees of warming (1 degree Celsius) since pre-industrial times and world leaders are meeting in Madrid to try to limit warming to another 1.8 degrees from now.

“Emissions grew more slowly than last year but we still set a global record. It’s hard to be upbeat about that,” said study co-author Rob Jackson, a Stanford University climate scientist. “The US National Academy of Sciences sounded the alarm on carbon and climate 40 years ago. Since then, global carbon dioxide emissions have doubled, and the world is hurtling towards catastrophic climate change.”

That means every second this year people put 2.57 million pounds of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. That’s the equivalent weight of two Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger airliner, going into the air every second.

Both the United States and the European Union saw emissions drop 1.7% from 2018 to 2019, but China saw a 2.6% increase and India had a 1.8% rise. China is by far the biggest carbon polluter, with 28% of the 2019 emissions. The United States is No. 2 at 14.5%.

From 2000 to 2018, the United Kingdom has cut its carbon pollution by about one-third, Greece and Italy cut their emissions by more than 28%. At the same time, China’s carbon pollution has tripled and India’s has increased by 157%.

Source: Bahrain News Agency