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View Diary: CO2 Emissions Rate Grew 3.1%/yr for 2000-2012: Catastrophic Exponential Growth (134 comments)

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  •  Don't confuse (8+ / 0-)

    an increase in anthropogenic emission rate with an  increase in atmospheric loading. 9.7 PgC is a lot more than we were emitting a few years ago but still a small fraction of the natural emission rate of some 230 PgC. But there is a natural uptake rate which matches the natural emission rate so on average (if the system is unperturbed) a balance is achieved. In fact the uptake rate is greater today than the natural emission rate as the system is also mitigating the anthropogenic emission (see: ocean acidification, eg). That's why the anthropogenic emission rate may be increasing at 3%/yr but the atmospheric loading is increasing at under 1%/yr. Which, BTW, is extremely serious.

    Put another way, while anthropogenic emissions are growing rapidly they remain a small fraction of the gross carbon flux to the atmosphere. But they make up the entirety of the net carbon flux.

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