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New CO2 emission record in human history

A new report shows that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels will reach 9,8 gigaton carbon (GtC) in 2013, which is 61 % above the emissions in 1990.

The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research contributes in “The Global Carbon Project”, which provides an annual analysis of global carbon emissions, incorporating data from multiple research institutes from around the world.

The new report is published online in the international journalEarth System Science Data Discussions. It reveals unprecedented CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, but with a slightly lower pace of 2.1% than the average 3.1% since 2000.

“This year’s report also shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased in 2012 at a faster rate than the average over the past 10 years due to a combination of continuing growth in emissions and a decrease in land carbon sinks from a very high level in the previous year”, says co-author of the report Abdirahman Omar, who is based at Uni Research and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Norway. According to Omar, the land uptake of CO2 this year has returned to mean level for the last decade.

The yearly reports document the total emissions of CO2, land and ocean sinks and accumulation in the atmosphere, which leads to climate change.

“Nature’s uptake of CO2 is rather stable, but as the world warms it is expected that nature’s ability to absorb CO2 will weaken and a larger part of human made CO2 will lead to stronger influence on the climate”, says Are Olsen, who is based at the Centre for Climate Dynamics at the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre.

To read more, please visit the Uni Research website.

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