Monday, June 11, 2012

Cooking the Carbon Books

Maybe it's time to put a cork in China's hydrocarbon pipelines.  A study published in Nature reveals that irregularities in China's energy consumption data suggest total carbon emissions from the People's Republic could be as much as 20% greater than stated.   That would be the equivalent of the CO2 emissions of Japan, itself one of the top five carbon emitters.

The team of scientists from China, Britain and the US, led by Dabo Guan of the University of Leeds, studied two sets of energy data from China's National Bureau of Statistics. One set presented energy use for the nation, the other for its provinces.

They compiled the carbon dioxide emission inventories for China and its 30 provinces for the period 1997-2010 and found a big difference between the two datasets.

"The paper identifies a 1.4-billion tonne emission gap (in 2010) between the two datasets. This implies greater uncertainties than ever in Chinese energy statistics," said Guan, a senior lecturer at the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds University.

That is slightly more than the annual emissions of Japan, one of the world's top-five greenhouse gas polluters.

Guan said China is not the only country with inconsistent energy data.

Scientists say the world is already racing towards a warming of 2 degrees Celsius or more in coming decades because of the rapid growth in emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Adding another billion tonnes into computer models would accelerate the pace of expected warming.

According to Chinese national statistics, on average, CO2 emissions have been growing 7.5% annually from 1997 to 7.69 billion tonnes in 2010, the authors say in the study.

In contrast, aggregated emissions of all Chinese provinces have increased 8.5% on average to 9.08 billion tonnes in 2010.

By comparison, US emissions were 6.87 billion tonnes in 2010, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

If China's true emissions numbers are blowing the planet straight through the 2C safety margin, why on Earth are we in such a damned rush to sell them massive stocks of the filthiest fossil fuel on the planet, Alberta bitumen?   Why are we so intent on degrading western Canada to help China degrade the world?

No comments: