Global carbon emissions stall for third year straight, according to new report

By Brooks Hays  |  Oct. 20, 2017 at 12:58 PM
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Oct. 20 (UPI) -- For the third year in a row, global carbon dioxide emissions have stalled, according to the latest report by the European Commission's Joint Research Center and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

According to the latest data, the United States and Russia both decreased their CO2 emissions by 2 percent in 2016. Japan decreased carbon emissions by 1 percent. Europe and China's CO2 emissions both held steady, while India increased carbon emissions by 5 percent. Brazil also decreased CO2 emissions by 6 percent.

Most developing economies across Eurasia and Southeast Asia, however, increased carbon emissions.

Despite in an uptick in emissions in countries like Pakistan and the Philippines, decreases in emissions in the the largest greenhouse gas-emitting countries ensure CO2 emissions remained stalled in 2016, continuing a downward emissions trend that began in 2012.

The new report also offered updates on methane and nitrous oxide emissions. However, statistics for the two gases aren't updated as regular. As such, the report only offers data on CH4 and N2O through 2012. Methane and nitrous oxide are less abundant but more potent greenhouse gases.

"CH4 is mainly generated by agricultural activities, the production of coal and gas, as well as waste treatment and disposal," the Joint Research Center reported in a news release. "N2O is mainly emitted by agricultural soil activities and chemical production."

The decades prior to the recent slowdown marked a tremendous increase in global greenhouse gases. According to the report, greenhouse gas emissions increased 91 percent between 1970 and 2012.

Scientists credit the increase in emissions with the rise in global temperatures over the last half-century.

According to data collected and analyzed by NASA, 2016 marked the hottest year on record.

"Sixteen of the 17 warmest years in the 136-year record all have occurred since 2001," NASA reported earlier this year.

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