Largest ever growth in carbon emissions and some unscientific reporting

The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.

The world pumped about 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009. That’s an increase of 6 percent. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries — China, the United States and India, the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases.

Source: Associated Press on Google News

A classic case of unscientific reporting. Counting carbon emission by country doesn’t represent an accurate picture. Comparing the states of the U.S. and to the single country of Germany is wrong.

A little research on the site that created the map above shows that Europe combined has over 1,500 million metric tons, with Western Europe producing 700+. Add in Germany and you’re at over 900 million metric tons.

India doesn’t seem so bad now at 564.

Further, if you start comparing land mass or GDP the story changes even more. For example, here are the countries by land mass:

  • Japan – 820.2 (metric tons/sq km)
  • Germany – 582.6
  • China – 233.2
  • India – 171.6
  • US – 152.4
Of course, the important story here is the rapid growth in emissions, but it’s also important to get our facts straight. Education will play just as big a role as technological advances in solving this global crisis. It’s time to move the discussion forward to a more mature understanding of the situation.

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