CO2 Skyrockets Despite Economy

'Fried Earth,' <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Hansdoller&action=edit&redlink=1">Hans G. Doller</a>, via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fried_Earth.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>.

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Nature Climate Change published a new science paper yesterday showing that the 2008-2009 economic crisis barely dented the global rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

Unlike other recessions, where emissions dipped for years, the last one offered only a year of respite from accelerating emissions, and only a paltry 1.4 percent in total.

By 2010, CO2 emissions skyrocketed 6 percent higher, for a world record 10 billion tons, with 2011 following suit.

Looks like all sides of the political bickering are to blame. From the paper:

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion and cement production grew 5.9% in 2010, surpassed 9 Pg of carbon for the first time, and more than offset the 1.4% decrease in 2009. The impact of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis on emissions has been short-lived owing to strong emissions growth in emerging economies, a return to emissions growth in developed economies, and an increase in the fossil-fuel intensity of the world economy.

This level of emissions now puts the world firmly on course for the ‘worst case’ global-warming scenario, where worldwide temperatures would rise between 7.2°F and 10.8°F (4°C and 6°C) by 2100. 

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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