Carbon emissions to hit record high in 2018: study

Carbon emissions this year are expected to hit a record high, according to a scientific study released Wednesday.

Carbon, a major greenhouse gas contributor, is projected to increase in the atmosphere by more than 2 percent in 2018 following nearly three years of no growth, a study by the Global Carbon Project found.

ADVERTISEMENT
The increase in emissions are largely tied to the output of the fossil fuel industry, which has increased every decade since the 1960s.

The burning of coal, oil and gas were the top contributors to carbon emissions last year, the study found. With coal contributing 40 percent of the climate change linked emissions globally.

China was the largest contributor to emissions last year at 27 percent, with the U.S. following it at 15 percent and the 28 countries within the European Union at 10 percent, according to the report.

The findings follow closely behind a federal report that in late November sounded the alarm on the growing impact of climate change. The report, the first of its kind released under the Trump administration, found that climate change is expected to interrupt the way people live day-to-day as it ravages infrastructure, impacts human health, poses challenges to the global economy and threatens the world's energy supply.  

In October, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its own report that said the world needs to decrease emissions by 45 percent by 2030 or else the atmosphere could hit a dangerous 1.5 degrees of warming.

At that level of warming — measured as the Earth’s average temperature compared with pre-industrial levels — up to 90 percent of tropical coral reefs could die, Arctic warming could cause multiple feet of sea level rise and yields of key crops would drop.