|What happened after 2004? The black line is now at 10,000.|
Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an analysis released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers. Scientists with the group said the increase, a half-billion extra tons of carbon pumped into the air, was almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution, and the largest percentage increase since 2003.
The growth in CO2 emissions was expected to spike after the recession-induced dip last year. But 5.9%? That's a disaster. We can't afford many more years like 2010, doubly since scientists are warning that melting permafrost will add a hefty chunk of carbon to our own slug of emissions (380 billion tons -- roughly thirty-eight year of emissions at the 2010 rate. Meaning that as we talk about getting serious about reducing emissions, as we argue about the Keystone XL, we have already locked ourselves in for another forty years' worth of rapid climate change.)