Researchers: 2013 carbon emissions jumped more than ever

The world emitted more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere last year than any year before, according to a series of new studies.

Human activity, mainly burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, emitted 39.8 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide last year, 2.3 percent more than 2012, according to the studies published Sunday in Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change.


“It’s in the wrong direction,” Glen Peters, who was part of the Global Carbon Project international team that tracks and calculates global emissions, told the Associated Press.

China, the United States and India led the world in carbon pollution growth over 2012, the researchers found. India’s emissions grew 5.1 percent, China’s 4.2 percent and the United States by 2.9 percent.

No other country came close to those three in terms of carbon increases, AP reported.

The researchers predicted that 2014’s carbon emissions would rise 2.5 percent above last year.

They also predicted that it would take about 30 years for carbon emissions to cause the world’s temperature to rise 2 degrees Fahrenheit, which scientists have previously said would be dangerous, according to AP.

Sunday’s report came days before world leaders are scheduled to come to United Nations headquarters in New York City to discuss their own countries’ plans to reduce carbon emissions.