Good news on global CO2 emissions
IES scientists G. Janssens-Maenhout and M. Muntean are co-authors of the ‘Trends in Global CO2 Emissions – 2013 Report’, which reports a first sign of a slowdown in the annual increase in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012. The report, the latest in an annual series produced jointly by the JRC and the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, was published on 31 October 2013.
Global emissions of CO2 – the main cause of human-induced global warming – increased by only 1.1% in 2012, less than half the average of 2.7% of annual growth rates since 2000, and significantly lower than the 2011 emissions growth rate of 3%. This is even more remarkable the fact that it comes at a time when the global economy continued to grow at a rate of 3.5%. These encouraging signs indicate a global shift to less carbon-intensive industry with a fuel shift from coal to gas, increasing use of renewable energy and increased energy savings.
The main emitters in 2012, accounting for 55% of the global total, were China, the US and the European Union. Emissions from China increased by 3%; significantly less than the annual increases of around 10% over the past decade. This could be due to a slowdown in Chinese growth in line with their 12th 5-year plan, and to the exceptional growth in their use of hydropower for generating electricity.
In 2012, consumption of natural gas increased by 2.2% (the United States is currently the world’s largest gas producer), whereas oil products only increased by 0.9%, and coal only by 0.6% (China is still the world’s largest coal consumer) compared to 2011. However, Europe’s coal consumption increased by 3% (with major increases in the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany), which indicates that relatively cheap coal was used to supplement renewable energies and make up for the reduced share of nuclear energy. The increase in the share of renewable energy sources (solar, wind and biofuel) is accelerating: it took 15 years from 1992 for the share to double from 0.5% to 1.1%, but only six more years to do so again, to 2.4% in 2012.
The report suggests that the rate of growth in global emissions could further slow down if (a) China achieves its target of a maximum level of energy consumption by 2015 and its shift to 10% natural gas by 2020; (b) the United States continues to shift towards more gas and renewable energy use; and (c) European Union Member States agree on restoring the effectiveness of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to further reduce actual emissions.
G. Janssens-Maenhout is quoted as saying "It is good news but still not sufficient. We are still having increases every year which are cumulating in the atmosphere over the next decades to an amount with such global warming potential that it endangers the 2 degrees target."
Please note that the figures have been corrected to account for the leap year that fell in 2012.
[ Olivier J.G.J., Janssens-Maenhout G., Muntean M., Peters J.A.H.W. (2013): Trends in global CO2 emissions: 2013 Report. ISBN: 978-94-91506-51-2, PBL publication number: 1148, JRC Technical Note number: JRC83593, EUR number: EUR 26098 EN ]
[ JRC’s Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) ]
IES featured in Euronews programme on air pollution research
IES scientists J. Hjorth and P. Rocha e Abreu were interviewed in a Euronews futuris feature on IES air pollution and atmospheric activities, which was broadcasted on 21 October 2013. The feature shows how the IES uses an automatic monitoring station on board a commercial cruise ship to measure air pollution over the Western Mediterranean.
The IES uses this facility to collect particle samples for laboratory analyses and for continuous measurements of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), soot, carbon monoxide and ozone. The measured data is sent by satellite Internet to the JRC’s headquarters in Ispra, where it is used for scientific studies of air pollution and testing of air pollution simulation models. These measurements help to better understand different sources of air pollution and to check the effectiveness of policy measures.
Euronews ‘futuris’ programmes cover the latest news about the leading scientific and technological research projects in Europe – “Unlocking the secrets of research, science & technology”.
[ Euronews ‘futuris’ programme: Something in the air (21.10.2013) ]
[ Shipborne observations of air pollutants over the Western Mediterranean ]
[ Air and Climate Unit of the JRC ]
[ IES study finds air quality improved as a result of EU policies ]
Source Apportionment of Atmospheric Pollutants Workshop
27-28 February 2013, JRC Ispra (IT)
Quantifying the contribution of emission sources to atmospheric pollution is a key element for the development of any effective air quality management policy. Indeed, source apportionment (SA) is required for the implementation of the Directives on Air Quality (Directives 2008/50/EC and 2004/107/EC).
In order to fill a gap in the knowledge about the assessment of SA models’ performances, the JRC launched in 2010 an initiative for the evaluation and harmonization of SA techniques, initially focused on receptor models (RM).
The initiative, involving European experts and scientists from USA and South America, consists of three main activities:
- to accomplish a review on the use of RM in Europe,
- to organize European-wide intercomparsion exercises for RM, and
- to develope a European common technical protocol for RM.
The outcome of this and other initiatives will be presented and discussed in the third Workshop on “Source Apportionment of Atmospheric Pollutants”, co-organised by the JRC and ACCENT PLUS, that will take place at the JRC Ispra site on 27-28 February 2013. The workshop is aimed at European and international experts working on identification of atmospheric pollutant sources.
Keynote address on 'New tools for improved analyses with Positive Matrix Factorization' will be given by Professor Philip K. Hopke - Director of the Center for the Environment and Director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University (NY) USA.
For more details see the attached draft agenda.
[ Draft Agenda ]
Ship-borne measurements show EU policies have improved air quality in harbours
Sulphur dioxide emissions from shipping have sharply decreased in EU ports thanks to stricter EU rules for sulphur content in fuels used by ships at berth or at anchor in ports.
Scientists at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Commission's in-house science service, measured key air quality parameters in Mediterranean harbours before and after the entry into force of the low-sulphur requirements in January 2010.
They found that in the EU harbours Civitavecchia, Savona, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, the concentration of sulphur dioxide had fallen by 66% on average. Sulphur dioxide is one of the main chemicals responsible for formation of acid rain and particulate air pollution, posing risks to human health and the environment. Measurements taken in the port of Tunis, where the EU rules do not apply, showed that levels of this noxious substance remained the same.
The JRC study published today in the scientific journal Atmospheric Environment confirms that the decreases in sulphur dioxide and consequently the improvement of the air quality in harbours are a direct consequence of the application of EU requirements.
The air quality measurements were carried out using an automated monitoring station on the cruise ship Costa Pacifica which followed a fixed weekly route in the Western Mediterranean during 2009 and 2010.
Research at JRC in Support of EU Climate Change Policy Making
This fourth edition of "Research at JRC in Support of EU Climate Change Policy Making" describes JRC research activities and results that contributed to EC policy initiatives on climate change.
This booklet further presents a wide range of activities that need to be addressed in order to contribute to a sound science base for future policy action. The full series of the report contains information on the JRC's work in the field since 2003.
Per capita CO2 emissions in China reach EU levels
Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the main cause of global warming – increased by 3% last year. In China, the world’s most populous country, average emissions of CO2 increased by 9% to 7.2 tonnes per capita, bringing China within the range of 6 to 19 tonnes per capita emissions of the major industrialised countries. In the European Union, CO2 emissions dropped by 3% to 7.5 tonnes per capita. The United States remain one of the largest emitters of CO2, with 17.3 tonnes per capita, despite a decline due to the recession in 2008-2009, high oil prices and an increased share of natural gas. According to the annual report ‘Trends in global CO2 emissions’, released today by the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), the top emitters contributing to the global 34 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2011 are: China (29%), the United States (16%), the European Union (11%), India (6%), the Russian Federation (5%) and Japan (4%). With 3%, the 2011 increase in global CO2 emissions is above the past decade's average annual increase of 2.7%. An estimated cumulative global total of 420 billion tonnes of CO2 has been emitted between 2000 and 2011 due to human activities, including deforestation. Scientific literature suggests that limiting the rise in average global temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels – the target internationally adopted in UN climate negotiations – is possible only if cumulative CO2 emissions in the period 2000–2050 do not exceed 1 000 to 1 500 billion tonnes. If the current global trend of increasing CO2 emissions continues, cumulative emissions will surpass this limit within the next two decades
Regional Climate Model: Climate Scenarios for Europe
Do we understand the present climate over Europe and can we predict its changes in the future? Which tools are available to investigate the complex relationships between natural systems and human activities? Are we able to predict the impacts of the changing climate on the environment (floods/droughts, agriculture, etc.)?
[ read more... ]
Measuring Air Pollution over the Mediterranean Sea from a cruise Ship
Evaluating the efficiency of environmental policies in Europe and in the world
What is the actual impact of air pollution locally and on global scale? What can be expected from the implementation of emission ceilings and other measures that are gradually being implemented? How will policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions help to further improve the air quality? What is the optimal mix of measures to obtain the desired targets in terms of air quality and climate?
Assesment of global air pollution
The TM5 model is a 3D atmospheric chemistry-transport ZOOM model. It allows the definition of arbitrary zoom regions, which are 2-way nested into the global model. Thus simulations at relatively high spatial resolution (currently 1x1 degrees longitude-latitude) can be performed over selected regions, with boundary conditions always provided consistently from the global model.
Ecosystems and their role in fighting Climate Change
EDGAR, Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research
The EDGAR v4.0 provides insight in 36 years (1970-2005) global past and present day anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by country and on spatial grid.
[ read more ]
Consequences of man-made Nitrogen input into the world's oceans
GHG in AFOLU data: Green House Gases in Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses
Related to implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, provides an overview on policies and bodies; a toolbox for estimating GHG and Carbon fluxes and stocks based on research, models and data.
[ read more ]
Determining the impact of air pollution on climate
The CCAQU report series
|On the occasion of the COP 17, the JRC issued the fourth edition of ‘Research at JRC in Support of EU Climate Change Policy Making’ which describes JRC research activities and results that contributed to EC policy initiatives on climate change since 2009. This booklet further represents a wide range of activities that need to be addressed in order to contribute to a sound science base for future policy action.||EN||download|
|The report describes the results of scenario studies evaluating the impacts on air quality and climate of air pollution and climate policies, through a coupling of the POLES energy model, the EDGAR database, and the atmospheric chemistry transport model TM5.||EN||download|
|Atmospheric Monitoring and Inverse Modelling for Verification of National and EU Bottom-up GHG Inventories||EN||download|
|Che mostra in un'unica prospettiva cosa sia il Clima, come la vita fondamentalmente dipenda da esso, come l'uomo lo stia cambiando, e quali siano le opzioni tecniche e politiche per mantenerlo favorevole ai futuri nove miliardi di uomini sul nostro pianeta||IT||download|
|L´aria è ciò che noi respiriamo inconsciamente minuto dopo minuto, giorno dopo giorno. L´aria è un elemento necessario per la nostra vita. Comunque, possiamo cominciare la sua storia partendo lontano dalla nostra esperienza quotidiana nel sistema solare.||IT||download|
|IES Biblioteca - Bld 29A||Overview of my past research activities in atmospheric and oceanographic modelling||Mr Srdan Dobricic of the IES Air and Climate Unit||link|
|Ies Biblioteca - Bld 29A||Inverse modelling of global and European CH4 emissions||Mr Peter Bergamaschi of the IES Air and Climate Unit||link|
|Ies Biblioteca - Bld 29A||Primary and secondary aerosol sources during summer and winter in the megacity of Paris||Monica Crippa||link|
Thursday 24 October 2013 at 16:00
|IES Library, Building 29a||Long term trends in aerosol optical characteristics observed in Ispra||Mr Jean - Philippe Putaud - IES - Air and Climate Unit||link|
We are part of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), and work within its institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES). We provide scientific support for the development and monitoring of European policies in the area of regional and global air pollution and climate change: the Kyoto protocol and beyond.