GAS BUILDUP EVEN FASTER THAN FEARED
Just days after the Nobel prize was awarded for global warming work, an alarming new study finds that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing faster than expected.
Findings: Carbon dioxide emissions were 35 percent higher in 2006 than in 1990, a much faster growth rate than anticipated, researchers led by Josep G. Canadell, of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, report in today's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The growth rate increased from 1.3 percent per year in 1990-1999 to 3.3 percent per year in 2000-2006, researchers added.
Causes: Increased industrial use of fossil fuels coupled with a decline in the gas absorbed by the oceans and land were listed as causes of the increase.
"In addition to the growth of global population and wealth, we now know that significant contributions to the growth of atmospheric CO2 arise from the slowdown" of nature's ability to take the chemical out of the air, said Canadell, director of the Global Carbon Project.
The changes "characterize a carbon cycle that is generating stronger-than-expected and sooner-than-expected climate forcing," the researchers report.
Prizewinners: This month, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former Vice President Al Gore for calling attention to global warming.