Recently I have had a few posts about CO2 levels, and how bad the situation looked for anyone interested in seeing that atmospheric concentrations level out.
Here's a story from Nature that confirms this. (As News@Nature articles tend not to be accessible for long, here's a New Scientist version, but it is not as good.)
From the Nature story:
Global carbon emissions are now growing by 3.2% a year, according to results presented at an Earth science conference in Beijing on 9 November. That's four times higher than the average annual growth of 0.8% from 1990-99.
"We are not on any of the stabilization paths," says Michael Raupach, a carbon-cycle scientist with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Canberra, who presented the Global Carbon Project results. ...
"What's really striking is the rate of growth in places like China," says Raupach. According to Chinese figures, China currently contributes some 16% to global emissions, but accounts for 40% of the growth in world emissions.
China's vice premier Hui Liangyu yesterday told the meeting that China, like all countries, suffers from severe weather events that are in part a result of global warming. "The Chinese government attaches great important to global environmental change and actively copes with the related problems," he wrote in a letter to the meeting delegates.
China plans to reduce the amount of its 'energy intensity', defined as the emissions per person per unit of GDP, by 20% by 2010, although it has no official emissions targets.
Sea-level rise is also at the upper end of IPCC projections, adds John Church, who works at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart, Tasmania. Analyses published in 2006 have shown that sea level is currently rising at 1.5-2 mm per year, which is in the upper half of the IPCC value of 1-2 mm per year. The rate of the rise is accelerating.
This is expected to lead to an 88 cm rise in sea level by 2100. "We have to start acting soon — it's urgent," says Church. Raupach's results, he says, are "really striking". ...