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Carbon Emissions

June 18, 2007

Carbon emission rates may be higher than scientists thought.


A grim carbon emissions forecast. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Carbon gases are prime culprits in global warming. Now, a new study suggests we’re making even more of them than we thought. Co-author Chris Field is director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology. He says that in the early 2000’s, worldwide carbon emissions grew at triple the rate of the 1990’s, and total emissions matched or exceeded the worst scientific predictions. A major factor is the spread of coal-powered, carbon-intensive power plants in developing countries like China and India.

CHRIS FIELD (Carnegie Institution):
Rapidly growing economies are associated with rapid increases in carbon emissions. What we need to figure out in the long run is some way to separate those two things.

Field says it may take innovation and investment from wealthier countries to make low-emissions power plants affordable worldwide. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.