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By Robert Rapier on Sep 11, 2014 with 26 responses

Another Record Year for CO2


This is the 4th installment in a series that examines data from the recently released Statistical Review of World Energy 2014. The previous posts covered the world’s growing fossil fuel consumption:

Today I examine the implications of that growing fossil fuel consumption by looking at carbon dioxide emission trends. The key points in the report include:

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions increased by 2.1% to reach a new record high in 2013.
  • China had the largest carbon dioxide emissions of any country in 2013, and was responsible for 27.1% of the world’s total.
  • Following several years of declines, US carbon dioxide emissions grew by 2.9% in 2013 and now represent 16.9% of the global total.
  • Since 2003, global carbon dioxide emissions have grown by 7.8 billion metric tons. To understand the magnitude of that increase, consider that total US carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 were 5.9 billion metric tons.

More Records Fall

Global carbon dioxide emissions increased to 35.1 billion metric tons (BMT) in 2013. This was a new global record, 2.1% above the previous record set a year earlier. Global carbon dioxide emissions have set new records 4 years in a row, and have increased in 19 of the past 20 years. Over the past decade carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 29% — an increase greater than total US emissions.

Global CO2 Emissions1965 through 2013

China was the largest carbon dioxide emitter in 2013 with 9.5 BMT of carbon dioxide emissions, a gain of 4.2% over their 2012 emissions. The US was second with 5.9 BMT, up 2.9% from 2012. Rounding out the Top 5 for total carbon dioxide emissions were India (1.8 BMT — up 4.4%), Russia (1.7 BMT — down 0.4%), and Japan (1.4 BMT — down 0.5%).

Per Capita and Legacy Emissions

Per capita emissions in the US are two and a half times those of China. Per capita carbon dioxide emissions in China (based on a population of 1.35 billion) were 7.1 metric tons per person. The US emitted 18.9 metric tons per person in 2013. For reference, if China’s per capita emissions were equal to that of US per capita emissions, global carbon dioxide emissions would be 43% higher than they are today.

China became the world’s largest current emitter of carbon dioxide in 2008, and has held that position since. However the US is the country responsible for the most carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere over time. Since 1965 the US has emitted an estimated 267 BMT of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. China is way back in 2nd place at 150 BMT emitted over that time frame (but has been gaining ground on the US in recent years), followed by Japan (55 BMT), Russia (53 BMT) and Germany (48 BMT). Regionally, the Asia Pacific region now has more annual carbon dioxide emissions than the US and EU combined.

Regional CO2 Emissions 1965 through 2013

Globally, 1.1 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide have been released to the atmosphere since 1965. Member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — most of the world’s developed countries — are responsible for 55% of the total emissions since 1965. The US share is 24.3%, the European Union’s share is 19.2%, and China’s share is 13.6%.

However, that pattern of emissions has shifted in recent years. In the past 5 years China had the largest share of global carbon dioxide emissions at 24.8% of the total, while non-OECD countries as a whole were responsible for 57.5% of the carbon dioxide emissions over the past 5 years. In 2013, the non-OECD share of global carbon dioxide emission growth jumped to 91%. Asia Pacific’s share of global carbon dioxide emission growth last year was the largest of any region at 76%.

OECD v NonOECD CO2 Emissions 1965 through 2013

China’s Emissions > Rest of the World 

China also had the largest total increase in carbon dioxide emissions with a gain of 358 million metric tons (MMT) — more than the rest of the world combined. The US increase was the second largest gainer, at just under half of China’s increase with a 150 MMT increase over 2012. India’s 77 MMT increase was good for 3rd place, while Brazil (+33 MMT) and Indonesia (+23 MMT) round out the Top 5 gainers.

Discussion and Conclusions

No matter how I present this data, there will be those determined to misrepresent what I am saying. For instance, I recently came across the following article: Powering the World’s Poorer Economies: A Response to Bill Gates and Jigar Shah. In the article, the author asserts:

It would be wrong for the rich to continue to burn fossil fuels while denying them to the poor to protect the climate. It would also be a pointless exercise, since the poor cannot afford enough fossil-fuel consumption to make a meaningful climate difference.

Of course it is easy to rebut his second sentence by showing that developing countries are indeed driving the majority of carbon emissions today. Just look at the graphics in this article. Regardless of who is responsible for the legacy emissions, current trends are that developing countries are driving them. So I made this observation in the comments following the article, and was immediately attacked by someone for being intolerant of the emissions of developing countries. After all, if it was good enough for the US, why couldn’t I accept it for developing countries? And aren’t US per capita emissions much higher?

That’s the thing though. I am not making moral judgments here. I am not suggesting that developing countries don’t have the same right to use fossil fuels as developed countries. I am merely pointing out facts. In order to solve a problem, one has to understand the problem. And when we make incorrect assumptions — such as “the poor cannot afford enough fossil-fuel consumption to make a meaningful climate difference” – we may work on “solutions” that don’t actually solve the problem.

This is a very challenging problem, but the only way the developed countries will solve it is to develop low-cost, convenient, and scalable sources of power so developing countries can continue to develop. If we don’t, they will continue to develop with coal. Another possibility would be to find a way to start pulling significant amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and sequestering it. In theory this can be done (and plants do this as they grow), but so far there are no scalable, economic solutions significant enough to impact the problem.

Link to Original Article: Another Record Year for CO2

By Robert Rapier. You can find me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Facebook.

  1. By Forrest on September 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    We once utilized whale oil, would it be immoral to prohibit developing countries this energy source since we utilized the energy and gained much wealth doing so?

  2. By Forrest on September 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    A crude analysis of global warming concerns per the speculation of future 100 year damage.

    1. Crude oil will continue to price itself out of popularity.

    2. Solar and biofuels will continue to make gains as low teck and easy to utilize.

    3. Wind, hydro, geothermal will continue to gain, within expensive grid distribution.

    4. Waste ethanol, biodiesel, biogas, cellulosic ethanol, natural gas CHP, and other ingenious additions of fuel supply will continue to develop and provide wonderful steady addition to energy needs.

    5. Coal a big challenge as its plentiful and powerful. So, we are very fortunate for U.S. to have so much leading technology to empower diverse energy streams. Meaning we are not the problem as R.R. article points out. Also, all indicators point to coal utilization as the international concern. The U.S. biggest challenge is to invent more efficient, lower emission, and lower cost coal power plants. Add to that nuclear power.

    • By Optimist on September 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      More fact-free comments:

      1. Crude is now so unpopular… Wait, what was the first bullet link in the article? Oh, yes… World Sets New Oil Production and Consumption Records

      If that is how oil is pricing “itself out of popularity” one shudders to think what lower oil prices might yield…
      2. Very low teck (sic) indeed… Next to useless, one might say.
      3. As long as the subsidies remain these will remain growth industries.
      4. Even more dependent on subsidies. Wonderful for those taking advantage of said subsidies. Paid for by taxes on fossil fuels?
      5. Yes, we are so fortunate that soon US coal will be exported to China, for maximum carbon footprint potential.

  3. By Russ Finley on September 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Money quotes:

    1) “… so far there are no scalable, economic solutions significant enough to impact the problem.”

    2) “I am merely pointing out facts. In order to solve a problem, one has to
    understand the problem. And when we make incorrect assumptions — such
    as …”[wind and solar can do it all]” – we may work on “solutions” that don’t actually solve the problem.</i

    [my insertion]

  4. By Forrest on September 12, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Compare poor vs non poor citizens of all countries production of CO2. Non poor and especially wealthy will jet around, boat, race, have big homes, toys, etc. They are not as concerned of high expense of fuel, either. This phenomenon is well known per environmental groups such as Sierra Club. These groups view birthrate and wealth as enemy. They see the middle class drift to lower class as a good thing. These groups not concerned per their inclusion of the wealthy as this is a very small populace, but they fight to keep the majority within lower class and will offer much welfare to keep them appeased and sustained within the group. Many shows produced upon PBS convincing viewership of wonderful life taking the bus and living in small apartments. That we all could live cheaply if growing some veggies on the balcony. We could all shares are stories of woe per prejudice and lack of federal freebies. It’s a celebration of victim hood. We learn that marriage and child rearing a bad choice when one can intoxicate and move to ever new partners as it takes a village or at lease friends with privileges to survive the chaos of life’s challenges. Religion teaches a much different lesson of citizenship and as result targeted as an the enemy. While I will argue the above is true, it is not humane nor American for degradation of human spirit to suffer such a depressive condition. We all need the hope and success of achieving a better lifestyle. While we will always have the poor among us we should employ positive encouragement and incentives to make it a temporary condition. To that extent we do need an ever increasing energy supply. Nuclear appears to solve both problems of GW and supply of energy. May some attack this solution because of the capability? Meaning it could cut down on bus ridership? I am beginning to suspect the motives of the Green party? Why do some want to limit energy production and claim we can conserve our way out? Also, this group appears to be the most vociferous to demand immediate actions to their wonderful solutions and cry of impending doom. They doth protest to much.

  5. By Sam Geckler on September 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I have often wanted to do the following simple calculation. Assuming the current trajectory of Chinese and US CO2 increases, in which year do China’s total contributions to the atmosphere exceed the US cumulative contribution? Pick any baseline year you like like 1965 or 1990. Up to now I’m apparently too lazy to do it, but it doesn’t feel that far off. Maybe that should be the starting point for global agreements.

    • By Robert Rapier on September 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      I did that calculation a couple of years ago. I think it was 25 or 30 years, but I think I assumed future emissions at present levels.

    • By Moiety on September 15, 2014 at 8:16 am

      another type of calculation you could do is look at current emissions from cement and the steel industries. These approximately account for 10% of worlds CO2 emissions. So de-carbonising everything else and not these would mean that these two industries alone would use approx 40-50% of the carbon budget set by the IPCC in 2050.

  6. By ira on September 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm


    Quantitatively, what do you think is biochar’s potential for carbon sequestration ?

    • By Robert Rapier on September 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      It’s a small fraction of what’s emitted. Think of just the coal that the world consumes. Now try to turn that much volume into biochar. It would be quite an undertaking. I have used the stuff in my own garden and it works well, but I have talked to farmers who wouldn’t be willing to pay unless it had a clear advantage in increasing yields. I would say that it does, but is it enough to get them to pay? And after putting it in the field for a year, are there diminishing returns where you wouldn’t do it then the next year?

      • By Forrest on September 13, 2014 at 6:34 am

        Careful, you might have just blown a “Science Friday” spot. I have played with the char from home wood stove production. As you say, it does appear as a quality amendment to both yard and garden. Improvements to character of soil easy to determine. Nice, that the viability of bio-char good for hundreds and even some up to a couple thousand years. So, the sequestration is superior to tree growth. Add to the soil improvement, it becomes highly attractive for CO2 over accumulation problems. As you know there is a ethanol process that has been acclaimed for this benefit. It’s a fluidized bed gasification process of bio fuel that can produce bio-char, ethanol, and mix of selected co-products. While the process is not overly productive per ton for fuel it’s coproduct of bio-char could become valuable to agriculture both for soil amendment and carbon sequestration. Since it last for so long, small quantities within fertilizer will gradually build soil over long spans of time. Also, the double benefit we often forget about with bio-fuel supply solutions….if the plant material were left to rot naturally. Meaning the largest source of CO2, actually dwarfing any man made source is the aerobic bacterial process of rotting plant and animal matter upon the planet. So, those anaerobic digestors just starting to become popular for decreasing municipal liquid and solid wastes are a BIG solution to GW gases. Also, the process eliminates the open air methane gas often generated upon rotting carbonaceous matter. It’s a low teck triple win for deceasing waste, improving energy supply, and decreasing GW emission. Same scenario for biofuel solutions. For example the cellulosic ethanol process bottom end is driven by anaerobic digester. Unfortunately the bottoms are just dried and disposed. This practice is unattractive as the waste product is renown per soil amendment quality. Guess, the market isn’t established for the product and currently not an issue. Same issue with municipal digester bottoms being quality soil amendments. Just the nitrogen content of the municiple waste alone equivalent to nitrogen needs of entire corn crop. It would be nice if this coproduct could be pulled out maybe per the process the city of Milwaukee utilizes. Their Milorganite product is an much sought after organic fertilizer. I use the product per Michigan State explanation of benefits of natural organic fertilizer support of the micro flora or organisms within soil that contribute much to healthy lawn and garden as opposed to the chemical fertilizer that has a poisonious charter to the organisms. I have experimented with grey water and urine per gardening and household potted plant use. You probably heard of the new found fertilzer process of brewing fertilizer tea. It a potent process to maximize live organismism content which in turn does the same within soil. They utilize air entrainment, natural fertilizers, sugar, and powdered rock within water tank. They process this for some hours then water the plants or turf. Universities have done research on the technique with very good results. So, the splashing and aeration of grey water within my garbage can with additional urine that by it self has a long history of value. Use this brew to water plants. Yes, very powerful. Lol, my wife caught on to the process, but settled down once viewing the results.

  7. By Forrest on September 15, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Even thought the trend for man made CO2 annual production RR reports on, is quite disquieting, especially per the futility of U.S. costly alternative energy and costly regulations that attempt to decrease traditional energy, we need not be alarmed. The most dangerous concern of GW is the politics of change that appears to gain traction per fanning such alarms in fundamentally changing the power structure of the country. Add to this the loss of freedoms per the desire or concern of achieving maximum safety. When ever politicians take away freedom, it is for your own good/benefit. Consider the following technological changes that will have a tremendous influence upon the 100 year projections of CO2 speculations of GW conditions.

    1. Hydrogen fuel cell appears to be in position to greatly improve power production and fuel utilization. This has tremendous impact for transportation, stationary power producers, consumers, and environment. The problem of efficient and environmentally friendly hydrogen production is much easier to solve. Storage and distribution will evolve along with the fuel supply and utilization.

    2. The biological age is in full revolution mode and is expected to last longer and have as much impact as the silicon age. This will change how we manufacture chemicals, fuels, medicines, and food. Ethanol, for example is upon the flight path of this amazingly powerful technology. Interesting example: Purdue has a study upon the spinach plant. “The proteins we study are part of the most efficient system ever built, capable of converting the energy from the sun into chemical energy with an unrivaled 60 percent efficiency,” said Yulia Pushkar, a Purdue assistant professor of physics involved in the research. They expect to utilize this R&D per improvements in solar panel and biofuel. Also, the recent R&D efforts with promising benefits of bio fuel per the tobacco plant and cellulosic feed stock of trees, grass, corn, sugar beet, or sorghum. Very promising technology of algae and catalytic process at the forefront to enable CO2 product streams.

    3. Increases in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, and clean coal gasification combined power. All of these have gained respectively in 2014, especially solar.

    4. Efficiencies of energy conversion continue to make steady improvements as well as conservation of energy. Think of the improvements per combined power or CHIP technology, ICE, heat pumps, lighting, insulation, pipeline leakage, anaerobic digester, wood stoves, battery, solar panel, wind turbine, micro grid, nuclear, etc. It appears to me we have a perfect storm to completely and naturally dislodge concerns of GW and do so upon normal consumers concerns of cost. Do be alarmed per the proponents of change whom desire to stampede the nation to war like footing to implement excessive government change at high cost of liberty and budgets. We have a hundred year timeline. Government resources best utilized as a catalysis to empower technological improvments and sheltering budding competition that will open the market place up.

  8. By Harsha S on September 16, 2014 at 3:21 am

    It is obvious there is an increase in the level of CO2. Population is increasing, economically people are becoming more stable and so they go for comfort life. Comfort life means home with air condition, vehicles and more. This indirectly results in the increase of industrialization. All these leads to increase in CO2. Some how we can reduce the level of CO2 up to a certain extent by going for renewable energy.

  9. By Forrest on September 16, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Air pollution levels are highly linked to economic development, with the less developed countries polluting most. The fast growth of emerging countries help them reduce their air pollution levels. As they accumulate wealth, they can devote more resources to reduce the levels of specific air pollutants. The trend line of a countries air pollution contribution vs time is not a constant. I don’t believe this phenomena, so well identified per history, is factored into this post. This may be a big factor to future. Also, the CO2 concern, as of present, is not accurately modeled by science. Their has been much propaganda, lying, and untruths even per the science community. Our science community continues to have low ability to predict weather patterns. The GW science is still under study and in the stage of trying to understand physics. For example water vapor is a major concern and not fully understood. Damage of GW just speculation and must be tempered with much rational thought. So, the wealthy countries have lagged upon solving the concern, rightly so per the 100 year span of projecting harm. GW danger is not well understood to attract major investment. Nonetheless, many powerful technological solutions at bay. It appears to me, history will repeat if indeed GW achieves or is proven a problem.

  10. By Joe Clarkson on September 17, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Here’s a good link to a story about the root of the problem- I know that this will seem a bit extreme to the R2 fan club, but the evidence is solid.

    • By Forrest on September 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

      Joe, the article has low credibility per the claim of environmental concern mandates suspension of Capitalism or what is commonly known as “Free Markets”. The Communist, Socialist, and Fascist have the worst track record of environmental stewardship as well as humanity benefit. It was good timing for me as yesterday read the article “The Core Concept Behind the Assault on Your Freedom”. Well worth the read. The author points out how civilization invented the catalytic converter to solve smog problem when needed. University of Glasgow scientist have taken a major step forward in production of hydrogen from water, using solar. SunCatalytix have potential powerful technology. Solar power, wind, geothermal, hydro and nuclear clear winners upon zero CO2 power. Cellulosic ethanol is starting up and costs about 2x of corn ethanol, but below gasoline. That will improve greatly as industry leaders predict cost of cellulosic will approach parity with corn 2016. Cellulosic may have a negative carbon rating per the ability to process waste that would otherwise rot and form CO2 and methane. There is 1.3 trillion tons of fuel stock rotting away. Fuel cells are not expensive for auto energy conversion. Storage tank costs more, but much technology going to the task of lowering cost. I just don’t see the concern to radicalize the U.S. system per environmental need. Especially, since the country well established as the great hope of mankind.

  11. By Robert Frye on September 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

    600 Million Years Earth History
    What’s “Normal” ?

    • By Robert Frye on September 18, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Perspective of Relavence:

      The Big Picture – Earth and Man – The 24 Hour Clock.

      If you convert Earth’s age of 4.54 billion years to a 24 hr.

      Dinosaurs were on earth less than an hour (52 minutes).

      Modern Humans have been on Earth 3.8 seconds.

      About 99.95% of all species, to have ever lived on earth,
      are now extinct.

      I’m not saying we shouldn’t be wise and conserve and debate it – we should
      – but I doubt we’ll see the “first minute”.

      Given the above conversions and statistics – chances are
      Earth and the Universe will rule in the “end” – and not man.

      We (Man) grossly over-estimate the influence of our
      existence in the grand scope of things – or God’s plan – if that’s your
      perspective. We often think we determine Earth’s destiny in our arguments.

      I hope to see ya in the next “millisecond”.

      • By Forrest on September 19, 2014 at 9:33 am

        The geologic record is very interesting per earths turbulent history of ice, temperature, and vegetation growth. The evidence put’s man made CO2 within perspective. Per such records it is hard to get excited of man’s anemic capability. Another interesting point, green house business, utilize high concentrations of CO2 for optimum plant production, maintaining a 1,000 to 1,500 ppm. Above that concentration transpiration process slows plant growth (nigh time process). Extra heat is usually a good thing for vegetation growth, overall if it includes adequate water. The plant and animal kingdoms were amazingly prolific per old earth age and did so with more heat and CO2 conditions. Modern record keeping claims the global temps are increasing, but that has happen often upon earth history. GW scientist claim man made CO2 the problem, but that makes no sense. Meaning CO2 is produced and converted per nature and does so in enormous quantities. Nature is the controller. If one wanted to decrease concentration of CO2 work within nature to optimize conversion and decrease generation. Natural forces way cheaper and work tirelessly with no cost and provide benefits and natural resource. Field corn for instance has tremendous photosynthesis capability. Recent satellite evaluated corn field more powerful than dense jungle. This upon land not located in tropic zone. Also, the anaerobic digester a very powerful tool to reduce nature’s CO2 production and do so while producing a valuable natural gas. This tool probably more than capable to minimize CO2 emission concerns. All in all, I also have a skeptic’s evaluation of the GW fear mongers. Their is enough technology to handle the job if the science and reality confirms danger. Fossil fuels will continue to price themselves out of popularity per cost within the 100 yr time frame of concern. Hydrogen, solar, geothermal, nuclear, wind, and biofuel are more than capable to take over. BEV has not lived up to promises. Battery cost is not projected to greatly reduce. Auto companies had to decrease projections to 10% of optimistic levels. Transportation will require carry on fuel for a long time. Point source capture of CO2 and conversion to sell able product may be within future capability. The biggest threat of GW is empowering politics to radically change and control our economy and empower or enlarge government away from our root moorings of limited use. The red party is the new green party. Powerful world leaders are attempting total control of masses per taking away cherished freedoms. These people all agree they have superior thinking skills and deserve high living standards and exceptions to control.

        • By Robert Frye on September 19, 2014 at 11:44 am

          Ironic you mention the greenhouse business, Forrest. I spent over a quarter century in the greenhouse business employing CO2 enrichments. I ran supplemental CO2 regimes from ambient to incremental increases to over 5,000 ppm and concurrently manipulating night and day temperatures under several different regimes to manipulate transpiration and other processes.
          Though the historical evolution is a bit unclear, C3 plants first developed on Earth when ambient CO2 levels were probably in the 2000 – X,XXX ppm range, or more. For a large part, those genes (utilizing high CO2 ppm), which evolved during this period, are still some what proportionally functional in high C02 environments (my opinion).
          One sees large differences per individual species. With some species one can double dry matter accumulation in half the
          time with the correct supplemental CO2 concentrations. I don’t share this data, but take my word for it, “it’s absolutely amazing to watch this happen (right before your eyes) with the correct manipulated CO2 concentrations”. The vast majority of dry matter (by weight) in plants is C – makes complete sense to me. Especially, after experiencing the above.

          I have posed the following question to my favorite Ag Universities:

          “How much of the current “corn-yield-trend-line-increases” are due to increased ambient CO2 levels over the past decades”?

          Most traditional thinking does not factor this change into trend-line-increases and attribute it basically to genetic and management improvements.

          From what I’ve observed from my experiences – our ambient CO2 increase could not help but have contributed to “trend-line-yield-increases” – in my opinion. To my knowledge, nobody has yet measured and quantified it (in peer reviewed research) according to my searches.

          I’m not trying to justify increased CO2 – just posing the question to the C-4 plant people in the “corn-plant-world”.

          • By Robert Rapier on September 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm

            I have thought before how ironic it would be if increasing CO2 concentrations are the only thing keeping us out of the next ice age.

            • By Robert Frye on September 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm

              Good point, Robert.

              Not “Ironic” to some.

              According to some pretty credible and qualified geologists – an ice age is: “The-More-Likely-Scenario”. “They say: There “WILL BE MORE ICE AGES”.

              Study how many Earth has had in the past, their frequency, and what some of these scientists say-

              My opinion-we don’t know enough yet. How could we. We’ve only been here a little less than 4 seconds. (not intended to be a joke)

            • By Forrest on September 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm

              The study required to determine if earth’s surface is warming per the last 100 years is extremely complex. The discovery change is minute upon amazingly complex data sets that are adjusted, corrected, factored, scrubbed, compensated, etc to correct the data. This makes it very hard to determine, if the exercise is accurate, especially with such small variances. To instill confidence, they compare results to other independent tests and satellite data. I was listening to the Father of GW talk to lay people about the science. He talked of the task to determine GW, if it even existed. Scientist, in theory thought they understood the earth should be warming per fossil fuel burning, but had little faith upon proving it or little confidence within data until the satellite capability to capture ice melts. So, presently per the data analysis and comparisons of other studies all appear to conclude earth surface temps are warming per last 100 years. However, these minute temperature changes within this short history should not surprise anyone when comparing results to the entire earth’s environmental history. Geological records have no direct correlation of CO2 and temperature as compared to modern proposed accuracy of advanced modeling techniques. The projections of the damaging effects, also, extremely wobbly per mere speculation. Fossil fuel contribution to atmosphere per carbon cycle is 4%. Land mass and vegetation produce more CO2 per 15:1 ratio. If including oceans it’s 27:1. However, nature will also decrease the emissions to have a net negative contribution. So, nature is the 200# gorilla in charge of CO2. This would point to need to make nature more productive and efficient upon carbon sequestration. Since nature’s by far the biggest emitter of CO2 per the common aerobic decomposition of animal and plant matter. We should do our best to intercept natures bounty, before nature destroys it with polluting emissions. Saw up trees to construction needs. Make paper out of our trees. Put nature’s waste into landfills and anaerobic digesters. Harvest methane for energy needs. Same with processes of biomas and biofuel. Fertilizing and watering will make all plant life more productive. Woodland growth increases dramatically per waste water. Timber management also greatly improves growth tonnage per acre. Farm land is exceedingly more productive per plant life than weed infected land bank.

            • By Robert Frye on September 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

              CO2 and Crops:

              So, why aren’t all corn and soybean growers getting carbon credits for sequestering huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere via the crops they finance and grow?

              This article mentions it can take up to 18 tons of CO2 sequestration to grow an acre of corn.

              Granted, this is not the net accounting of C back to the soil. Based on atomic weights, C is about 27% of the composition of CO2. Plus, a smaller proportion actually gets returned to the soil (i.e. need for net accounting depending on farming practice).

              The above article also mentions that Michigan farmers get a C credit from 0.4 – 0.6 tons-per-acre carbon credit. I’m not sure how current this is since it’s a 2007 article.

              Where can I find where carbon credits are traded and how? Chicago I assume. Please bring me up to date on Carbon Credit Trading. (please provide best link)

              Robert R. – what are your thoughts on this concept of recognizing Ag crops in sequestering CO2 pursuant to carbon credits?

            • By pelinoc on September 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

              I seem to recall a Scientific American article from some years ago that considered the issue of ice age frequency and timing, and speculated that the only reason we are not now sliding into one was the creation of agriculture (with concomitant widespread and ongoing felling/burning of forests with CO2 release) about 10,000 years ago.
              The long term consideration of agricultural CO2 also puts “national” emissions comparisons into another light: should we consider only the emissions since 1965, 1901 or 1836 when considering global policy? Or should we consider emissions over a longer period of time, including estimates of agricultural emissions, when comparing “contributions” to climate change? Puts a different bent on things, no?

  12. By Forrest on October 5, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Stumbled across this interesting article on CO2 being a green chemical. Come to find out there are many uses for CO2 that helps the environment including recovery of crude oil. That activity both increases oil extraction and CO2 sequestration. CO2 appears to be a valuable commodity, that goes underutilized. Recycling CO2 should be a good thing.

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