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Global Carbon Emissions for 2010 Reach Record High

Global carbon dioxide emissions for 2010 rose a whopping 5.9%, totaling 9.1 billion tonnes.

According to the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists, this is the highest level ever reported, and the highest annual growth rate recorded since 2003. Preliminary estimates show the 5.9% increase in emissions results from the economic rebound of the 2008-09 economic crisis.

Governments are aiming to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2 degrees by 2100, in order to alleviate some of the major concerns of climate change such as extreme weather and a dangerous rise in sea level. However, according to one of the study's authors, Corinne Le Quéré, this study shows that global emissions since 2000 are on course to "far exceed two degrees warming by 2100”.

Over the past two years, the largest jump in carbon emissions was found in developing countries. The largest increases were in China, where emissions grew by 10.4%, and in India, where emissions grew by 9.4% last year. In contrast, CO2 emissions in developed countries grew 3.4%. However, after decreases in 2008-09, they are lower than the average emissions from 2000 to 2007.

According to the study, global carbon dioxide emissions have increased 49% in the last two decades.