U.S. Greenhouse Gases back on the Rise; U.S. Still Leads in Per Capita Pollution
The news on the global warming front is not good in the United States, which is pumping out more, rather than less, greenhouse gas emissions.
A new study shows that after years of emitting fewer carbon dioxide and other gases, U.S. output went up last year by 2.9%. The research produced by the Global Carbon Project also revealed that the United States remains the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide on a per-person basis.
The U.S. averaged 16.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere for each individual—a rate that’s far ahead of all other nations. China, the second largest per-capita polluter, averages 7.2 metric tons. “They are still nowhere near the U.S. or Australia, but the fact that they have surpassed the EU will be quite surprising to a lot of people,” Dr. Robbie Andrew, from the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Norway, who was involved in the research, told the BBC.
The U.S. emission rate had slowed because of increased use of natural gas in power generation, but coal has recently made a bit of a comeback in that role, causing more carbon to flow into the atmosphere.
Overall, China emits more greenhouse gases than any other nation, even though its annual output for 2013 was a little below “the average growth rate of 2.5 percent over the past decade” because of its slowing economy, The New York Times reported.
“It may take an additional year or two to know if China has turned a corner toward slower emissions growth, or if the runaway pace of recent years will resume,” the Times’ Justin Gillis wrote.
Globally, greenhouse gas emissions rose 2.3% last year, which resulted in record high levels for the planet’s atmosphere.
To Learn More:
Global Rise Reported in 2013 Greenhouse Gas Emissions (by Justin Gillis, New York Times)
China’s Per Capita Carbon Emissions Overtake EU’s (by Matt McGrath, BBC News)
Global Carbon Budget (Global Carbon Project)
Obama’s Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases by 30% in 15 Years…10 States just did it in 7 (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)
Researchers Find U.S. Responsible for 22% of World’s Global Warming (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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