Greenhouse gas emissions saw a 6 percent jump in 2010, their largest one-year rise, according to new data from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab.
This means that emissions are now rising faster than the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2007 report, according to Brad Plumer of the Washington Post.
If emissions keep rising at this pace, the world would heat up by 5.3°C by 2100, according to an average prediction from an MIT study quoted by Plumer. The same study says there is a 9 percent chance that temperatures could rise by more than 7°C.
Results released in May by the International Energy Agency calculated the 2010 rise in emissions at 5 percent from 2008 levels, a full point lower over a two-year period than the one-year increase figures just released by Oak Ridge.
At the time, the IEA said that even their less drastic figures would make it “extremely challenging” to prevent global temperature rising to dangerous levels.
Picture credit: Osccarr