Fossil fuel companies often reach for the tools of greenwashing, but this particular instance unintentionally drops a tiny hint on a completely different story in the background.
After four years of labour and detailed discussions by an international team of scientists, we are able to quantify better than ever before how the world’s surface temperature responds to increasing CO2 levels.
Our findings show that the annual average CO2 concentrations will still increase through this year, even though emissions are reducing. Across the whole year, we estimate CO2 levels will rise by 2.48 parts per million (ppm). This increase is 0.32ppm smaller than if there had been no lockdown – equivalent to 11% of the expected rise.
Increases in GDP and CO2 over the past three decades have had one easily identifiable cause in common: the reluctance of governments to curb the carbon emissions of the world’s largest economies for fear of slowing the growth of their own GDP.
Wishful thinking is a powerful emotion. That’s why the media and the public love a good news story like this and don’t ask too many questions. We really wish we had a magic wand to wave that pesky CO2 away…
The research team analysed the reasons behind changes in CO2 emissions in countries where emissions declined significantly between 2005 and 2015. The findings, published in Nature Climate Change, show that the fall in CO2 emissions was mainly due to renewable energy replacing fossil fuels and to decreasing energy use.
NASA, the US space agency, has released an “eye-popping” three-dimensional animation showing carbon dioxide emissions moving through the Earth’s atmosphere over the course of a year.
However, many of the economists and experts who have developed scenarios for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believe that the only way to achieve the two-degree goal in a growing world economy is to invest in large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
Pink salmon — the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, and a supper table mainstay in many parts of the world — may be swimming towards trouble.
The real situation is that we right now seem to be reaching peak energy demand through low commodity prices. I see evidence of this in the historical energy data recently updated by BP…