By: Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 15, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The global concentration of carbon dioxide has increased in 2017 compared to recent years, according to a report released Monday. But there is a bit of better news in terms of emissions.
The Global Carbon Project, which is chaired by a scientist at Stanford University, found that carbon dioxide emissions will likely increase by 2 percent for this year after three years of nearly no increase.
Carbon dioxide - labeled as CO2 - is one of a few greenhouse gasses. The concern is that excessive amounts of carbon dioxide will further increase the global temperature. Increased carbon dioxide can also increase the acidity in oceans, impacting sea life.
Projected global levels of carbon dioxide for 2017 are at 36.8 billion tons, according to the report. In 2016, it was 36.2 billion tons. The amount of that greenhouse gas surpassed 30 billion tons in 2006. Emissions from industry, cars, as well as land use change, have been contributed to the increase.
Between 2000 and 2009, the amount of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere was about 3 percent per year, but around 1 percent per year in the previous decade.
The greatest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world is China, according to the report, and they have been the largest emitters since the mid 2000s. The United States is the second highest, but the trend has been slowly falling since the late 2000s. The rate of carbon dioxide increase since 2015 in the U.S. has been 2.1 percent. India emissions have been climbing at a rate of nearly 4 percent since 2015, but their contribution hasn't been as great as China, the U.S. and Europe.
Per person, the U.S. is leader in emissions with 16.5 tons of carbon dioxide per person, according to the report. But that number has dropped since the late 2000s when it was around 20 tons per person.
How far the levels will increase will depend on what nations do to reduce emissions. Significant reductions worldwide in emissions would be needed to limit the increase of the average global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius. If the globe sticks to the baseline increase, the average global temperature could increase by less than 5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.