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Global greenhouse gas emissions surge

Global greenhouse gas emissions surge

"Global carbon dioxide emissions appear to be going up strongly once again after a three-year stable period", Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, and lead researcher for the Global Carbon Budget, said in a press statement.

As the world's biggest emitter China's projected 3.5% increase is a big contributor to the global trend.

The 12th annual report is produced by 76 of the world's leading emissions experts from 57 research institutions and estimates that global carbon emissions from fossil fuels will have risen by 2 per cent by the end of 2017 - a significant rise, reports the Guardian.

USA emissions are expected to decline by.4 percent, compared to a typical decline in the country of about 1.2 percent per year.

Increases in coal use in China and the U.S. are expected this year, reversing their decreases since 2013.

But the GCP, a global research project within the Future Earth research initiative on global sustainability, says that while emissions may prove to have risen by 2% in 2017, it is not possible to say whether this is a return to growth, or a one-off increase. This year we have seen how climate change can amplify the impacts of hurricanes with more intense rainfall, higher sea levels, and warmer ocean conditions favoring more powerful storms. A report released earlier this year by scientists at Carbon Tracker, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Yale University showed that global emissions must begin falling quickly after 2020 in order to keep the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

For the first time in three years, global carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise, illustrating that while the world has taken some crucial steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the work is far from over.

The report authors noted large uncertainties in the data persist and the true growth figure may be anywhere between 1 and 3%.

CO2 emissions decreased in the presence of growing economic activity in 22 countries representing 20 per cent of global emissions.

"The world is still reducing its emissions intensity by about 1.5% a year", he says, referring to the amount of Carbon dioxide emitted per dollar of GDP. The US emissions are projected to decline by 0.4% this year when its GDP will grow by about 2.2%.

Furthermore, renewable energy generation across the world has increased at 14 per cent a year over the past five years, albeit it from a very low base, the report noted. Those from all human activities (fossil fuels, industry, and land-use change) will reach around 41bn tonnes, similar to the record high in 2015. "This would essentially mean that we need to have policies to lock in the gains we have had in the last few years", Peters said.

China's emissions added up to 28 percent of global emissions, which is expected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2017.

"Policy makers in Bonn are preparing for the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement, that will start in 2018 and occur every five years, and this puts huge pressure on the scientific community to develop methods and perform measurements that can truly verify changes in emissions within this five-yearly cycle", said Prof Le Quéré.

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