Are We Reaching Peak CO2?


Maybe! Emission of CO2 from coal burning and cement manufacturing, the two biggest humanmade sources. The trend has slowed recently and actually reversed in 2015.Graph by Jackson, et al., modified (red rectangle added) by Phil Plait Our planet is heating up. The cause is in some ways simple: Humans add a lot of carbon dioxide to the air every year, about 40 billion tons of it. CO2 is a greenhouse gas: It lets sunlight through to heat the ground, but the infrared light the ground emits gets absorbed, and cannot escape to space. That warms us up, slowly but inevitably. By every measure available to us, we see the effects of this increased heat. But there’s hope, at least a hint of it. A new study has some hopeful news about global warming: The global emission of carbon dioxide slowed substantially in 2014, and is projected to drop a little bit in 2015. This comes after over a decade of quite sharp growth in emission. Better yet: This happened while the global economy underwent “robust growth,” and it happened in part due to switching to renewables (solar and wind power) as well as a drop in coal use. Globally, over the past 15 years, we’ve been dumping roughly an extra billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, jumping from 25 billion tons per year to over 37. But the rate has slowed in the past couple of years; in 2014 the growth slowed dramatically, and according to the new research the rate is projected to drop in 2015 by roughly 0.6 percent, from 35.9 billion tons to 35.7. Read the rest at Slate.

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Are We Reaching Peak CO2?

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Are We Reaching Peak CO2?

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