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Global CO2 Emissions up 38% Since 1992; More Than Half of Annual Emissions Now from Developing Countries

Cdiac
The shift in sources for global CO2 emissions. Click to enlarge. Source: CDIAC

Annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and manufacturing cement have grown 37.8% percent since 1992, from 6.1 billion tons of carbon to 8.5 billion tons in 2007, according to data gathered by the US Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Global emissions in 1992 (6.147 billion tons) were the lowest since the 1990 baseline year of the Kyoto protocol (6.164 billion tons).

At the same time, the source of emissions has shifted dramatically as energy use has been growing slowly in many developed countries but more quickly in some developing countries, most notably in rapidly developing Asian countries such as China and India, according to a CDIAC analysis of the data.

The United States was the largest emitter of CO2 in 1992, followed in order by China, Russia, Japan and India. The most recent estimates suggest that India passed Japan in 2002, China became the largest emitter in 2006, and India is poised to pass Russia to become the third largest emitter, probably this year.

—Gregg Marland of ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division

Marland emphasizes that these emissions numbers are subject to some uncertainty—about 5 percent for the United States but possibly as much as 20% for China.

These are our best estimates, but precise numbers cannot be known with certainty. Also, as countries with less certain data become more important to the overall CO2 picture, the estimates of the global total of emissions become less certain.

—Gregg Marland

While this national distribution of emissions is significant in the context of international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol, its practical significance is less clear in a world linked by international commerce, co-author Jay Gregg of the University of Maryland noted.

A recent study has estimated, for example, that a third of CO2 emissions from China in 2005 were due to production of goods for export. Current estimates of national CO2 emissions show simply the amount of CO2 emitted from within a country and do not take into consideration the impact of international trade in goods and services or the energy used in international travel and transport.

The latest estimates of annual emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere indicate that emissions are continuing to grow rapidly and that the pattern of emissions has changed markedly since the drafting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. It was then that the international community expressed concern about limiting emissions of greenhouse gases.

In the Kyoto Protocol, 38 developed countries initially agreed to limit their emissions of greenhouse gases in an effort to minimize their potential impact on the Earth’s climate system. At the time of drafting the United Nations Convention, those 38 countries were responsible for 62% of carbon dioxide emissions attributable to all countries. By the time the Kyoto Protocol was drafted in 1997 that fraction was down to 57%.

The recent emissions estimates show that by the time the Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 those 38 countries were the source of less than half of the national total of emissions (an estimated 49.7%), and this value as of 2007 was 47 percent. More than half of global emissions are now from the “developing countries.” The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 181 countries, but not by the United States.

The new estimates of CO2 emissions are based on energy data through 2005 from the United Nations, cement data through 2005 from the US Geological Survey, energy data for 2006 and 2007 from BP, and extrapolations by Marland, Gregg and co-authors Tom Boden and Bob Andres of ORNL.

Burning fossil fuels and manufacturing cement&madsh;along with deforestation—are the most important human-related sources of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, according to the researchers. The cement data take into account the breakdown of limestone to produce lime. Researchers also note that the new CO2 data include minor downward revisions of estimates for recent years, but the trends are not changed.

ORNL has maintained a database of CO2 emissions since 1982. The data base is updated annually and is online.

CDIAC is supported by DOE’s Climate Change Research Division within the Office of Biological and Environmental Research. UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.

Resources

  • Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center website

Comments

Jer

But these are aggregate numbers - where are emissions based on GDP and 'per capita'? This is more in line with making comparisons of emissions based on minimal living requirements vs. emissions based on excess or inefficient energy infrastructure. Is it reasonable to 'blame' these developing countries if these increases in emissions come from power companies that are providing power for water pumps, refrigeration, and medical systems (essentials). If we take Europe as a somewhat efficient and reasonably ethical emitter - how much more would China emit if the 'per capita' were similar to Europeans? How much would the US go down in meeting Europe's per capita and GDP-based emission numbers? These is the type of data needed if we are to judge emission numbers and what they truly mean.

Reality Czech

Per-capita evaluation is a fancy way of refusing to address the problem in the name of "fairness".

HarveyD

Jer & realitycheck:

GHG per capita or per GDP or per Country is rather irrelevant when imports and exports are not considered.

Example:

With unlimited goods and services exchange, country (A) could export $1 Trillion/year of non-GHG producing financial, management, engineering, insurance, banking, software, etc services and received in exchange from country (B) $1 Trillion/year GHG creating manufactured goods.

(A) would look extreemely good on GHG per GDP while (B) would be the bad (fall) guy. This misleading mismatch gets even worse when Country (A) runs a $800 B/year trade deficit.

The same can be said of GHG per capita.

Until such time as we have found a way to include all the GHG created to manufacture, stock, transport, distribute etc all the imported goods we consume, the per capita and the per GDP methodes are almost irrelevant.

Example No.2 :

Canada has one of the highest per capita GHG in the world. However, if all the GHG, water and energy required to extract the 2 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta Tar sands exported to USA were excluded, the picture would be very different.

In other words, GHG can be(and is) easily passed on to other nations thru imports and huge trade dificits.

Jorge

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stas peterson

As the global warming farce becomes ever more evident, why should we care where or how much the beneficial CO2 is emitted?

Who cares, except to encourage much more plant food fertilizer to continue to green the world.

The scientists have largely rejected global warming theories. The only ones left are the minions of the politicians, looking for an excuse to raise ever more taxes.

Whaht ever possessed anyone to think raising taxes would cure global warming?

Anne

stas peterson reality distortion field

Aussie

These emissions have start slowing soon due to fossil fuel depletion and high prices, with or without carbon penalties. Australia is supposed to begin a watered down form of cap-and-trade in 2010 but there will be no restrictions on coal and LNG exports to countries like Japan. In fact CO2 from Australia's coal exports (250 Mtpa) is greater than all emissions in the domestic economy. Therefore I'd be inclined to put an export tax of say $50 a tonne on coal bought by Japan or India. Either that or say a 2% annual tonnage reduction. BTW China is predicted to became a major coal importer in the next few years.

Of course they won't do it because in current thinking fossil fuel export nations aren't the 'pushers' of CO2. Another reason is that countries like India and Japan import both coking coal and iron ore so a carbon export cutback has a double whammy. So a major solution to Asian emissions is simple..cut their supplies. It doesn't seem to work that way however.

bud

"These emissions have start slowing soon due to fossil fuel depletion and high prices, with or without carbon penalties"

I don't believe that is the case Aussie.
There is far too much fossil carbon and far too little atmosphere to absorb it. Besides, High prices are what they want, the problem is that you and I(the consumers) are not the "they"(the corporations that benefit from extracting fossil carbon).

The best solution, IMHO, is to: 1) ban coal outright as they have done in some countries such as Denmark 2) tax all fossil carbon at $5 per million BTUs at the point that it comes out of the ground or into a country 3) use the proceeds from the tax to fund a renewable energy economy with direct subsidies to the consumer to purchase RE technology.

The problem would be solved in less time than it takes to permit a nuclear plant, which incidentally is NOT a RE technology nor is it even necessary.

Of course this will probably never happen because it would take extraordinary leadership as well as a knowledgeable electorate.

Will S

Stas wrote;

> The scientists have largely rejected global warming theories.

Someone forgot to tell the scientists what Stas thinks...

A.Syme

Mankind bickers over CO2 as the next ice age approaches.

ai_vin

"the next ice age approaches"

Where do you get that from?

stas peterson

@will S,

Sorry will and Anne,

If you read anything of a scientific nature, rather than green press releases, you would know better.

The American Physics Society is on record as now questioning Global Warming. It is soliciting its members to undertake a debate. This is an unprecented assault on the mindless "true-believers" like Hansen.

Thirty-Three thousand US scientists and engineers all holding at least a Bachelor's degree in a technical discipline and many with Ph.Ds have officially signed their names, and gone on record, saying the issue of Global Warming is way overated. As as a concern, it merits no action at this time, if it even exists at all as anything other than a failed hypothetical thesis of the primitive science of the 1960s...

Of course the green fools who think Algore is a great scientist even though he only passed one, o-n-e, 1, introductory course in Science his entire college career with a "D", knows all.

AlGore has canonized and made a saint of his one teacher to pass him, Dr. Roger Revelle, and then then contradicts Revelle at every turn.

Global Warming or Climate Change is no longer a scientific issue, it is merely a political issue.

The supportive IPCC exists merely for the purpose of providing a reason to justify new taxes fro its political masters.

They hire a bunch of scientists and then ignore what they write. Then use their names and fame to write fabrications by non-scientist, staff bureaucrats, to justify their pseudo-concern for the environment. Their real purpose is to continue to be employed, and feed at the public trough, while giving the politicians more taxes to spend, and more power to wield.

ai_vin

Not so fast Stas you're parroting blog driven fallacies.
http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/features/0808_physics_society.htm
quote; "A recent "kerfuffle," as a headline writer for FOXNews.com termed it, once again underscored the influence of the blogosphere's echo chamber - and just how quickly it can spread bad information.

The American Physical Society, APS, last month saw fit to "reaffirm" its official position on climate change after a flurry of online reports and comments erroneously stated that the group had reversed its 2007 stance that humans are causing global warming and that greenhouse emissions should be lowered.

APS is the leading U.S. organization of physicists, with more than 46,000 members.

The incorrect web reports started when an article by a non-scientist, British Viscount Christopher Monckton, was published in the July issue of the online newsletter of the APS Physics and Society Forum. The forum is one of 39 units of APS. Its newsletter is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Monckton's article argued that climate projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "may be excessive and unsafe" and concluded that "currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful." Monckton, according to the FOXNews.com article about the incident, is "a Cambridge-educated classicist, journalist, hereditary peer and former adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher."

An article supporting the IPCC's conclusions was published along with Monckton's piece. It was written by David Hafemeister and Peter Schwartz, members of the Physics Department at Cal Poly University.

The newsletter's editors - Alvin Saperstein of Wayne State University and Jeffrey Marque, for whom the APS website lists no affiliation, introduced the articles as a "debate." They explained: "There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

On July 16, DailyTech, which describes itself as "a leading online magazine for a well-educated, tech audience," published an item on its science blog about Monckton's article.

Headlined "Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate," the blog post by Michael Asher had this lead paragraph:

"The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming 'incontrovertible.'"

The closely followed Drudge Report linked to the DailyTech post with a small headline declaring, "Group Repping 50,000 Physicists Opens Global Warming Debate."

The DailyTech item also was soon being cited and linked on a number of websites as evidence that scientific agreement about climate change was eroding.

"What global warming consensus?," conservative commentator Michelle Malkin demanded on her website.

"You've got to love it," another conservative scribe, Jonah Goldberg, chimed in on a National Review Online blog. "The same day that Al Gore does his man-to-the-moon spiel on global warming, the American Physical Society - the second largest professional association of physicists - rescinds its total support for the global warming [sic.]."

Commenting on a blog post about Bush administration opposition to greenhouse gas restrictions by New York Times reporter Andrew C. Revkin, a reader approvingly offered a link to the DailyTech report as evidence suggesting "the White House has a better grasp on science" than EPA scientists favoring such regulation.

The APS took steps to set the record straight, including the placement of this disclaimer atop Monckton's article:

"The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review, since that is not normal procedure for American Physical Society newsletters. The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: 'Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.'"

The organization also issued a press release on July 22, "APS Reaffirms Position on Climate Change." It stated its position: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring."

The APS release said its reaffirmation was prompted by Monckton's article and the coverage it received:

"Online reports erroneously implied an APS policy change. These reports did not include the disclaimer, 'Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum,' which was attached to the newsletter article."

The APS response to the furor had an effect.

Malkin, for example, posted an "update" to her original blog item, quoting the APS reaffirmation of its climate change position.

For his part, Goldberg was explicitly contrite. Labeling his own blog update (which also quoted the APS) as a "correction," he admitted, "Nevermind. I've led you astray."

The original DailyTech blog item itself was updated on July 17, the day after its initial posting. Above the original text, this sentence was added in red letters:

"After publication of this story, the APS responded with a statement that its Physics and Society Forum is merely one unit within the APS, and its views do not reflect those of the Society at large."

DailyTech retained the headline saying "Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate" on the updated version of its piece, however. That decision prompted one reader to post this exasperated comment five days later:

"Hey, lose the sensational headline. Even a quick read would reveal that this is a FORUM, not the entire APS; that the article is a single opinion, not the opinion of the Forum as a whole; that the purpose of the Forum is to invite debate, thus actively attracting a minority or discredited opinion to give it fair play."

AUTHOR
Bill Dawson from 1984 to 2001 covered environmental issues for The Houston Chronicle. He now freelances and teaches at Rice University. Contact him at bill@yaleclimatemediaforum.org.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 7, 2008"

The official policy of the APS on Climate change remains - "(Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases."

ai_vin

Although I seem to be spending way too much time shooting down dribble like this I would like to give Stas some credit: Usually the falsehoods I reply to are the same old tired junk we've all seen a hundred times before, this time I actually had to do some research to find the lie in his post. OK, so it was just 5min of research but at least he made it half way fun.

stas peterson

The official discrediting propaganda has arrived in massive doses by the political world. It changed nothing, substantive. They have not discredited the new scientific data that increasingly contradicts AGW. The Farce has only a few more years of life at best.

But it doesn't change reality. The APS and many other professional societies, as well as prominent Scientists, are increasingly restive about the "ad hominem" propaganda emitted by the Global Warming crowd, with increasingly discredited, and outdated, non-quantitative theories.

The intrusive reality is that there has been no Warming at all for almost decade. There are no prospects of Warming for two to four more decades. The past two warming decades are increasingly seen as a periodic "weather" phenomenon having nothing to do with atmospheric CO2 levels.

We have already retraced much of the warming associated with the supposed rise in NH surface temperatures over 2% of the Earth's surface from 1979 to 1998, a period of a mere 19 years, of Warming. (How can you have "Global Warming" when the Southern Hemisphere never warmed at all?)

Despite "rising" CO2 levels from a now disputed base, there does not appear to be a causative relationship, and now not even a correlative relationship. CO2 goes up, and temperatures go DOWN.

Based on primitive analysis of ice cores as criticized by ice core expert, and former IPCC contributor Dr. Zbigniew Woworowski, who disputes low ice-core CO2 measurements, due to selective clathrate formation, not properly accounted for. There is also also the purposeful ignoring of 19th century scientific measurements of over 90,000 CO2 atmospheric measurements by many teams and individuals worldwide, including teams with four different Nobel prize winners. From these ignored measurements, the average CO2 level was about 345 ppm not 280 ppm, and the peak measurements of 440 ppm have not been reached even today. Dr. Georg Beck has published about this scandal originated by Global Warming proponent, Dr. Callandar.

A supposedly bad effect of Global Warming is the increasing sea levels, but former IPCC contributor Dr. Axil Morne chair of the IPCC sea-level subcommittee, has broken with the IPCC for selective "cherry picking" data from from known land subsidence areas, to indicate sea levels are mildly increasing, when the data for the past decade actually indicates the sea level is now static or declining slightly. His position has now been buttressed by the new ARGOS buoy system that indicates the Oceans are in reality cooling, and therefore contracting in volume ever so slightly. This would lead to a reduction in sea-levels, as the oceans contract, which his published data affirms.

You can repeat the mantra as much as you wish, but the cat is out of the bag and Global Warming, now conceded and renamed "Climate Change" is well on its way to extinction. Just like the flat Earth, and Ptolemy's Epicycles, GW becomes just another discarded theory on the way to knowledge. And as dead as the Dodo.

We haven't even mentioned the revolution in the scientific theory of the Earth's Greenhouse effect. I refer to the work of Dr. Frenc Miskolzi, of NASA, who has proposed a new theoretical basis for GHGs. He has demonstrated and affirmed by calculation and then measurement that the Earth's atmosphere is essentially a "saturated greenhouse effect". More important it can't increase, for Conservation of Energy reasons. His theory has calculated the Earth's surface temperature much more accurately, and he has provided reasons for the absence of the tropical tropospheric heat island, predicted by embarrassed earlier GW theories. He has also provide a theoretical explanation for the previous inexplicable IRIS effect first observed by MIT's Dr. R. Lindzen and affirmed by NASA Huntville. Most important, he has provided a reason why the atmosphere in contact with an Ocean of powerful GHG (vast Oceans of H2O)has not run-away already. He no longer had to subscribe to that ridiculous, non-existent, vacuum patch of Outer Space, between your shoe-tops and soles of your feet either, as current GHG theory requires.

Nor have I invoked the return to sanity by the IPCC, of the disputed residence time of atmospheric CO2 to Henry's Law of Solubility of 5.7 years from the wildly exaggerated 200-300 years proposed by the Warmists in order to boost the calamitous nature of atmospheric CO2.
That change alone shrinks the "GHG effect" in direct proportion to a power to alter temperatures by hundredths of a single degree, and not a full degree or several, using the current GHG theories, now obsolescent.

Jane

@stas
You have no standing, scientific, political or otherwise, no credentials, no publications, no one to stand with you, none, nada, zero. You have not done any research, eg, put your ass on the line for six months on Antartica, and you never will. You are no one, so how can you ever succeed in belittling others ?

What's worse, you have no will or intellect of any consequence ever to seriously study, sweat and acquire any skills of any significance or consequence. You are alone, seriously ill and mean enough to want others to become as ill as you are.

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