Action, not words. That might be the long overdue message our leaders need to hear on climate change. The US Energy Department reports that recent greenhouse gas emissions have increased by a record amount, exceeding even the "worst case" scenario posited by climate scientists four years ago.
The world pumped about 564m more tons (512m metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009, an increase of 6%. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries, China, the US and India, the world's top producers of greenhouse gases.
It is a "monster" increase that is unheard of, said Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University, who has helped calculate department of energy figures in the past.
Extra pollution in China and the US account for more than half the increase in emissions last year, Marland said.