The BBC reports The Global Carbon Project says that emissions were rising by less than 1% annually up to the year 2000, but are now rising at 2.5% per year. And then provides various reasons why this is so, including a switch from oil to charcoal as oil prices rise (is this plausible, on the large scale?). Sounds worrying. But…

a graph I drew earlier shows CO2 in the atmosphere rising at about 2 ppmv/y, though with wiggles, over the last few years. So I’m not sure how to reconcile that with the recent-increases stuff.

[Addendum: M points out that shows much the same pics as mine (good). It doesn;t say much about emissions, but does comment that the airbourne fraction is still about 55%]


  1. #1 Kooiti Masuda

    Concerning the concentration in the atmosphere, Fig. 3 of
    WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: The State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Using Global Observations through 2005 (pdf)
    shows curves much the same as your previous picture. The rate of increase in 2000-2005 is larger than that of 1990-1995, but not much different from that of 1995-2000 or 1985-1990. The text of the Bulletin says that the increase from 2004 to 2005 was 2.0 ppm.

    Emission statistics is another matter. I think it likely that the quality of reporting has changed.

  2. #2 Adam

    Couldn’t you ask Corinne Le Quere for more details? She (according to the article) “holds posts at the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey”?

  3. #3 Eli Rabett

    Whatever point there is, I think *DANGER* must be associated by contrast with the slowdown in the early 90s from the collapse of the soviet union.

  4. #4 Hank Roberts

    I have been puzzling and haven’t figured out where the Global Carbon Project numbers are kept, let alone where they got them. Has anyone found their archive or their sources identified?

    Is “charcoal” meant to include wildfires, or only production of charcoal for fuel, or ….???

  5. #5 Adam

    I spent a little while on their website and drew a blank, which was partly the reason for my mildly joking post above.

    [Were you joking? I was going to ask… -W]

  6. #6 Adam

    Try here:

    It was mentioned on their latest Policy Briefing pdf.

  7. #7 Adam

    “Were you joking? I was going to ask… -W”

    Well yes and no. Without knowing anything about the size and distribution of BAS, I thought she’d be in the internal phone-book, but know it’s not always that simple – maybe it is and I’m too shy. ;)

  8. #8 Lubos Motl

    The rise is very systematically 2 ppmv every year, currently at 385 or so, and the up-down wiggles are very periodic with an annual period (different vegetation on the Northern vs. Southern hemisphere), and everything else is nonsense.

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