“There’s a lot of effort to curb emissions of CO2 but the scale is not big enough. It has to be on a much, much larger scale. The scale of the problem is enormous.” Corinne Le Quere, British Antarctic Survey and Global Carbon Project.

The team of scientists making up the Global Carbon Project today reported that manmade emissions of carbon dioxide grew 2.5 percent last year and warned that global efforts so far were failing, putting the globe on track for the more pessimistic future scenarios. That could see a temperature increase of as much as 6.3 degrees by 2100, resulting in the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet, raising sea levels by about 7 meters.

So sandbags at the ready everyone.


But though the tone of today’s warning is stark and worrying and actually very welcome, there is a small glimmer of light amidst the gloom – the rate of increase in emissions is 0.1% lower than last year. This can be explained by weather variations apparently but also energy needs. Be nice to see that trend continuing next year too – when the rate at which the hole in the ozone layer started reducing (not the hole itself, just the rate of increase) everyone celebrated. Is it too much to hope that we can quickly achieve the same with CO2? If the billion or so people living in Europe and the US* each reduced emissions by one tonne this could reduce annual global emissions of CO2 (of around 27 billion tonnes per year**) by 3-4%. Just a thought.

And as it’s Friday (and we still haven’t embedded it in the site) here’s [the link again to our cheery film explaining the principle of emissions trading with biscuits](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNUabVPfNLc “”). Please send on to a friend who likes biscuits.

*source: 2008 World Population Data Sheet, Population Reference Bureau

**source: 2004 figure, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre