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Global warming increasing « Previous | |Next »
May 22, 2007

Media reports indicate that recent research to be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the jump in global greenhouse emissions since 2000, whilst CSIRO research that Australia's emissions from fossil fuels---the principal driver of climate change---are increasing faster than the global average. The increasing emissions mean that average global temperatures are now on track to rise by more than four degrees this century - enough to thaw vast areas of arctic permafrost.

The international study shows that growth rate of global carbon dioxide emissions has almost tripled since the 1990s, from 1.1 per cent a year to 3.1 per cent in the 2000s.This is faster than in the highest of the scenarios developed by the IPCC. Dr Raupach, a co-chairman of the Global Carbon Project, based at the CSIRO in Canberra, observed in relation to this research that:

Emissions are increasing faster than we thought, which means the impacts of climate change will also happen even sooner than expected. What this really highlights is the urgency of cutting emissions. It won't be easy, but we know that we have solutions available to us now to do that and that it can be done at a relatively small cost to the economy.

Australia is considered to be one of the most vulnerable developed countries to climate change. The IPCC recently warned that global warming was now causing "increasing stresses on water supply and agriculture, changed natural ecosystems (and) reduced seasonal snow cover" in Australia.

Despite this, Australia has achieved less than the US or Europe in improving the carbon intensity of its economy. Australia is the world's second worst carbon polluter per capita, producing 19 tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels alone each year, just behind the US, with 20 tonnes a year. The global average is 4.3 tonnes per person. Australia is also less efficient in producing energy from the fossil fuels it burns than Japan or Europe.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:04 AM |