World carbon emissions fell by 1.3 percent in 2009, most likely due to the global recession, says a report from the Global Carbon Project published today in Nature Geoscience. Emissions were originally expected to drop further (about 3 percent, as estimated from the expected drop of world GDP), but China and India’s surging economies and increasing carbon output countered the decreases elsewhere.
The largest decreases occurred in Europe, Japan and North America: 6.9% in the United States, 8.6% in the U.K., 7% in Germany, 11.8% in Japan and 8.4% in Russia. The study notes that some emerging economies recorded substantial increases in their total emissions, including 8% in China and 6.2% in India. [USA Today]
There is some good news from the report. It seems the atmospheric CO2 concentrations didn’t jump as much as they were expected to, which means the world’s carbon sinks were performing better.
While emissions did not fall much, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased by just 3.4 gigatonnes – one of the smallest rises in the last decade. Friedlingstein says the land and marine sinks performed better in 2009, because the La Niña conditions in the Pacific meant the tropics were wetter, allowing plants to grow more and store away more carbon. [New Scientist]
After a long weekend of Las Vegas fanboy salivating, another year of the Consumer Electronics Show has come to a close. Here are DISCOVER’s choices for the most important storylines among the flood of gadget-philia emanating from the desert.
1. OMG, It’s Coming Toward Us!
Between the unstoppable worldwide phenomenon that is “Avatar” and ESPN rolling out 3D broadcasts for this summer’s FIFA World Cup, 3D is back with a force not seen since the crazes of the 1950s and 80s. The bandwagon has close to universal industry ridership‚ almost every major manufacturer is launching 3D sets at CES this week, the Blu-ray format will support 3D and many gaming consoles should soon follow suit [Popular Mechanics]. But unless you’ve got a big wad of extra cash burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to wait a while before taking the 3D dive, tech experts warn. 3D TVs will come with plenty of sticker shock at first, there won’t be very much content to watch on them… and oh yeah, you’ll still have to wear those stupid glasses.