In your depressing environmental news for the day, the Associated Press reports worldwide greenhouse gases jumped higher than it ever had from 2009 to 2010, surpassing a worst-case scenario predicted four years ago. Citing new figures from the U.S. Department of Energy, AP science writer Seth Borenstein notes the level of carbon dioxide, which traps heat in the earth's atmosphere, had shot up by six percent in 2010 from 2009 -- an increase of 564 million tons. Then there's this, from Tom Boden, director Energy Department's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Lab:
In 2007 when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its last large report on global warming, it used different scenarios for carbon dioxide pollution and said the rate of warming would be based on the rate of pollution. Boden said the latest figures put global emissions higher than the worst case projections from the climate panel. Those forecast global temperatures rising between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century with the best estimate at 7.5 degrees.
However, there's an odd silver lining to the dismaying environmental news. "From an emissions standpoint, the global financial crisis seems to be over," Boden told Borenstein. Traveling and manufacturing are up, meaning more people using carbon-producing gasoline and coal.