Climate Central reports: The relatively good news overall is new data showing that annual rates of emissions of the world’s main greenhouse gas may be stabilizing, though not yet falling. One of the goals of the Paris Agreement is to pursue “rapid reductions” to yearly pollution output following a plateau.
Preliminary International Energy Agency figures published Wednesday showed 35 billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution was released in 2015 — about the same amount that was released in 2014, which was similar to the amount from 2013.
“In the more than 40 years in which the IEA has been providing information on CO2 emissions, there have been only four periods in which emissions stood still or fell compared to the previous year,” the agency said. “Three of those – the early 1980s, 1992 and 2009 – were associated with global economic weakness. But the recent stall in emissions comes amid economic expansion.”
The bad news since December has been record-smashing global temperatures. Not only was 2015 the hottest on record, boosted by greenhouse gas pollution and warm phases in ocean cycles, but the first month of 2016 was the warmest January on record. A month after that, February was the most unusually warm month in 135 years of NASA records. [Continue reading…]