Expert discusses the global carbon budget

phys.org | 12/10/2019 | Staff
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The Global Carbon Project recently released its 2019 annual report, giving decision-makers access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Jain about this year's findings.

What is a global carbon budget and how is it prepared?

Global - Carbon - Project - Report - Year

The Global Carbon Project publishes its report each year incorporating data from multiple research institutes around the world on carbon dioxide emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean and land biosphere. A budget estimate is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the climate policy process and project future climate change.

The Global Carbon Budget 2019 has 76 co-authors from 15 countries and 59 institutions. It is published in a living data format, meaning that it is constantly evolving, and provides the highest transparency and traceability in reporting of this set of key indicators and drivers of climate change.

Report - CO2 - Emissions - Trend - Years

What does the report suggest about the CO2 emissions for 2019 and the trend over the past years?

The global CO2 emissions are expected to rise more slowly in 2019. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are projected to grow by 0.6 percent this year to reach almost 37 billion tons of CO2. This projection is down from 2.1 percent in 2018 and 1.5 percent in 2017. We cannot rule out a decline in global emissions in 2019, given uncertainties in the projection.

Forest - Fires - CO2 - Emissions - Tons

Forest fires also have driven CO2 emissions up in 2019: 6 billion tons of CO2, about 0.8 billion tons more than the last year, driven partly by fires in the Amazon and Indonesia.

What factors are contributing to the slower growth rates in fossil emissions in 2019?

Growth - Rate - Emissions - Factors

The lower growth rate in emissions in 2019 is due to various factors,...
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