The ongoing debate surrounding man-made climate change is one that has two distinct opposing sides: there are those who believe our CO2 emissions are damaging the earth’s atmosphere and adding to the rising temperatures, and those who believe that warming is a natural phenomenon that comes in cycles. A new report from the Global Carbon Project, which looks at emissions from industry across the world, has further inflated the debate by declaring that dangerous climate change – inducing adverse weather conditions and such – is now all but a certainty. The news will have startling effects on the views of many, and are bound to be counteracted by those who do not agree.
3.1% Growth in 2011
The report claims that CO2 emissions from world industry rose by 3.1% in the year 2011, and indicated that unless such growth is stemmed we are on a direct path to disaster. The warming could induce heatwaves, droughts and extreme weather patterns across the world, and cause a major global disaster. Corinne le Quere, a co-author of the report and an expert in climate research, said:
“I am worried that the risks of dangerous climate change are too high on our current emissions trajectory. We need a radical plan.”
The report continues in the same vein, stating:
“Unless large and concerted global mitigation efforts are initiated soon, the goal of remaining below 2C will soon become unachievable.”
China and the USA
It is notable that China, which is continuing with a programme of building new fossil-fuel power stations – saw its emissions rise by a massive 9.9% over 2011, just short of the figure achieved in the previous year, and the country now accounts for more than a quarter of all carbon emissions in the world. India is anointer country that contributes large amounts, with 7.5% increase in 2011. Conversely, emissions in the UK and the USA fell, but by largely inconsiderable amounts. With the aim of keeping warming to below two degrees centigrade being the ultimate mission it is looking as though a major argument may be about to break out between the pros and the cons, but there is no doubt that – whether man is the main contributor or not – the earth is currently seeing rising emissions of carbon dioxide. There are currently 200 countries involved in international climate talks in Doha, Qatar, and much will be made of these latest figures in the remainder of the meeting.