Worldwide, greenhouse gas emissions increased by 2.3% in 2013, scientists have said. Meaning the world will not meet any of its environmental targets for reduction of these emissions and we are in a worst situation regarding greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than in previous years.
Although the growth is lower than in previous years (it was 2.5% in 2012) the increase is still significant.
In the US, contributions to greenhouse gas emissions were higher than the worldwide average at a rate of 2.9%. We may not know for several more years if China has turned a corner in its greenhouse gas emission growth and managed to level it off or start to reduce it.
According to the Global Carbon Project it took approximately 240 years for the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) to increase by 100% but it has increase by a further 36% in just the 25 years since 1990. The AGGI is a very accurate measure of the influence our way of life has already had on climate change.
Figures from 2014 show that over 80% of greenhouse gases constitute carbon dioxide so it is the major contributor to emissions both by qantity but also by the amount with which it is increasing.
In 2014 the atmosphere constitued 397ppm of carbin dioxide and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) if this quantity rises to a constant 550 ppm then that would lead to a rise in termperature across the whole of the Earth of 3 degrees centigrade. Such an increase in average tempertaures would disrupt agriculture, water supply, transportation, low-lying coastal regions and ecosystems.