In scanning the climate news each week, I come upon interesting items I'd like to share. This week I found some alarming new studies about carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere and ocean.
Global CO2 emissions are accelerating, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In their analysis [PDF], the researchers highlight three main points:
- Today's emissions are higher than even the worst-case scenario considered in the IPCC's projections of climate change,
- Emissions are growing most quickly in developing countries, particularly China, but
- The developed world (which has 20 percent of the population) is responsible for 59 percent of today's CO2 emissions, and 77 percent of emissions since the 1750s.
The oceans put a brake on global warming by removing half the extra CO2 humans add to the atmosphere every year, but that might soon change. A paper to be published in Science (released online via Science Express) found that:
- Higher winds, possibly caused by ozone depletion and global warming, are churning up water that contains dissolved CO2, which is then released to the atmosphere, and
- Over the last 25 years, the ability of the Southern Ocean to remove CO2 from the atmosphere has declined.
If you'd like to know more these articles, please let me know!