According to Reuters, there was a 0.7 percent dip in 2011 for greenhouse gas emissions from industrialized nations.
For many years it has been a mantra that rich nations, historically the top polluters, should make the biggest cuts in emissions while emerging economies could burn more energy to help lift them from poverty.
But figures based on submissions by 42 industrialised nations this month used to judge compliance with U.N treaties underscore how continued worldwide growth in emissions is increasingly led by China and other emerging economies.
Combined emissions in the 42 countries slipped to 17.1 billion tonnes in 2011 from 17.2 billion in 2010. That was down 6.4 percent from levels in 1990, the U.N. benchmark year for judging progress in combating global warming.
“For the United States, it’s mainly a shift from coal to gas in power plants,” explains Steffen Kallbekken, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo. “For Europe it’s primarily weak economic activity.”
The United States has needed this dip, since estimates have found that over the past century, the temperatures have hiked up 1.3°F a year.
“An analysis of data from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network of weather stations shows that the coldest states are warming the fastest, and across the country winter warming since 1970 has been more than fourand-a-half times faster per decade than over the past 100 years,” reports Climate Central.
”Winter nights across the country have warmed about 30 percent faster than nights over the whole year. Some states cooled or failed to join the warming trend over the past 100 years, but since 1970, every state has shown winter-warming.”
A recent study has concluded that heavy rainstorms will increase significantly by the end of the century.
The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, is the first of its kind to focus on the heaviest rain and snowstorms. It adds to previous studies which have already confirmed that extreme precipitation is becoming more common, and warns engineers and planners to think of such extreme events when planning infrastructure.
“We looked very specifically at the biggest storms,” said Kenneth Kunkel, a senior research professor at North Carolina State University’s Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites and lead author of the study.
“What we’re saying is the big event on the extreme tail of the distribution . . . that event is likely to be bigger by the end of this century; quite a bit bigger.”