Global emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing three times faster than previously thought, and the bulk of the rise coming from developing countries, a new study by a an international team of scientists from the US, Britain, France and Australia has found.
According to the study, carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing by three per cent a year this decade, compared to a 1.1 per cent a year rise in the 1990s. Three quarters of this rise came from developing countries, with a particularly rapid increase in China, the study said.
The researchers said the rise is much faster than even the most fossil-fuel intensive scenario developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the 1990s.
The increase in emissions of the gases responsible for global warming suggests that the effects of climate change to come in this century could be even worse than United Nations scientists have predicted, the scientists said.
According to the study, this year's IPCC reports predicting reduced harvests, dwindling water supplies, melting glaciers and the loss of species may actually be understated.
Incidentally, the study comes soon after warnings by the International Energy Agency that China may overtake the US as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases by 2010, a decade earlier than previously assumed.
Scientists from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US), the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey (both UK) as well as institutes in France and Australia wrote the study.