Global carbon dioxide emissions, widely placard as the main cause of global warming, reduction of 2008-2009, mainly due to the global economic slowdown, says a study published Sunday. This is the first decline since the late 1990's.
The study, published in the journal "Nature" Geoscience, is part of the annual carbon budget update of the Global Carbon Project, a group of emissions experts and economists from various international environmental organizations.
Emissions of 1,3% compared with 2008 to 2009 drop is directly related to the economic crisis, says study lead author Pierre Fried Ling Stein of the University of Exeter in Britain. "There is a close link between global gross domestic product and carbon dioxide emissions," he says.
During the last century, human activities, primarily burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil added to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. Cement production also contributes a small amount of carbon in the air.
In 2009 the reduction was less than half of what was expected, says Fried Ling Stein, partly due to the decline in global GDP is less than expected. The total amount of 30.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide is the second in history, just below the 2008 emissions.
The study projects that if the economic recovery proceeds as expected, global emissions from fossil fuels will be more than 3% growth in 2010, approaching the growth in emissions was observed from 2000 to 2008.
Last year, the world noted significant regional differences. The largest decreases occurred in Europe, Japan and North America: 6.9% U.S. 8.6% UK, 7% in Germany, 11.8 percent in Japan and 8.4% in Russia. The study notes that some developing economies recorded significant increases in their total emissions, including 8% in China and 6.2 percent in India.
Each Party recognizes its own estimated emissions of the United Nations, said Fried Ling Stein. China remained the top carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, followed by USA, India, Russia and Japan.
Emissions come entirely as a result of the economic crisis? No, said Dan Lashof, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council climate center, which participate in the study. "The reduction of large countries have been larger than GDP," he says. "This is not just a recession."
Lashof said a concerted effort to limit and reduce carbon emissions and invest in clean energy in countries like Germany and Britain should pay dividends.
The fact that fewer trees are cut in some parts of the world is good news. "We found that global emissions from deforestation have decreased over the last decade by more than 25% compared to 1990," says co-author and director Pep Canadell Global Carbon Project. Felling of trees and destruction of forests - better known as deforestation - carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when trees are burned and rotting.