Minimize GCP - RECCAP-2

GCP (Global Carbon Project)

Development status   RECCAP-2    GHG news and events   References

 

The Global Carbon Project is a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). It was formed to work with the international science community to establish a common and mutually agreed knowledge base to support policy debate and action to slow down and ultimately stop the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 1) 2)

The overwhelming realization that anthropogenic climate change is a reality has focused the attention of the scientific community, policymakers and the general public on the rising atmospheric concentrations of the main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). The GCP has approached this challenge by focusing comprehensively on the global biogeochemical cycles which govern these three greenhouse gases, including their natural and human drivers, and opportunities for low carbon pathways.

Attempts through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, first with its Kyoto Protocol and now with the Paris Agreement, are underway to stabilize the climate system which requires achieving a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases.

The Global Carbon Project was established in 2001 by a shared partnership between the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and Diversitas. This partnership constituted the Earth Systems Science Partnership (ESSP) which subsequently evolved into Future Earth. 3)

Goals

The scientific goal of the Global Carbon Project is to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including both its biophysical and human dimensions together with the interactions and feedbacks between them. This will be:

Patterns and Variability: What are the current geographical and temporal distributions of the major pools and fluxes in the global carbon cycle?

Processes and Interactions: What are the control and feedback mechanisms - both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic - that determine the dynamics of the carbon cycle?

Carbon Management: What are the dynamics of the carbon-climate-human system into the future, and what points of intervention and windows of opportunity exist for human societies to manage this system?

Science Framework: The Global Carbon Project (GCP) studies the integrated picture of the carbon cycle and other interacting biogeochemical cycles, including biophysical and human dimensions and their interactions and feedbacks.

This broad objective is covered by three themes:

• Diagnostics - Patterns and variability of natural and anthropogenic carbon sources and sinks

• Vulnerability - Processes and feedbacks of the biophysical-human system

• Low Carbon - Carbon management and policy.

The Global Carbon Project (GCP) was established in 2001 in recognition of the scientific challenge and critical importance of the carbon cycle for Earth's sustainability. Ten years on, the GCP continues to work with the international community to lead and promote a coordinated research effort.

The Global Carbon Cycle has a central focus on policy development for climate mitigation, sustainable development and the provision of ecosystem services, both at national and international levels. Research on the carbon cycle is an essential component of many activities addressing the environmental science of the whole Earth system and the International sustainable development agenda. The Global Carbon Project brings together carbon cycle resources, including information on national and regional carbon programmes and research agendas. 4)

 

GCP Development Status

• April 6, 2022: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III has released its report on climate change mitigation as well as recommended actions for policymakers and governments. The assessment is blunt – it is physically feasible to halve emissions by 2030, but the next few years are critical. This contribution to this Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) follows the release of the physical science base developed by Working Group I, the report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability developed by Working Group 2 and several other special reports that members of the Future Earth network have taken part in. 5)

Emissions reducing, but not on track

- For the first time, we are seeing evidence of a reduction in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions. But average emissions over the past decade were the highest in human history. It's up to governments to take drastic action immediately to limit warming of the planet to 1.5 °C. Right now, we are not on track to meet that target, with warming currently heading to 2.7° C or more, according to the report.

- "We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming," IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee in a statement.

- The full report describes the urgency with which we must move away from fossil fuels and embrace renewable technologies and energy sources. Among the report's recommendations for achieving emissions reductions in high-consumption countries are encouraging systemic behavior changes, like replacing driving with cycling, switching to plant-based diets, and working from home. The report also underscored the continued need to improve efficiency, circular economy solutions and the need for carbon-capture technologies in keeping warming below targets as well as leveraging nature-based solutions as adaptation tools.

Cities can accelerate decarbonization efforts

- Since 2019, several hundred scientists have worked on the report, synthesizing all available research. Experts from across Future Earth's communities contributed to the report, with major contributions from the Urban Knowledge-Action Network, outlining what cities must do to pull their weight. The IPCC report found that cities and urban areas produce two-thirds of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. They take up only 2% of the world's land area.

- "When it comes to climate mitigation in our cities we need an ‘all hands on deck' approach, recognizing the role of local governments, but also engaging other stakeholders including businesses and citizens," says lead author and Distinguished Professor Xuemei Bai from the Australian National University Fenner School of Environment and Society, who serves as an Earth Commissioner and co-chairs the Future Earth Urban Knowledge-Action Network. "Cities are complex systems with intrinsically linked elements and processes. This means our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets need to work with broader social, economic, environmental and human wellbeing," says Professor Bai.

- Mayors from many cities are demonstrating leadership and taking action on climate governance, according to Professor Shuaib Lwasa, Urban Action Lab, Makerere University and Urban Knowledge-Action Network Steering Committee Member who served as Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 8 in the report. Lwasa hopes other mayors take note of the findings and start taking action as well, highlighting that "cities can play a crucial role in transformation due to the opportunity of concentration of people and activity. Cities can achieve deep decarbonization through three broad strategies concurrently: Reducing urban energy consumption across all sectors, including through spatial planning to create resource-efficient and compact cities; electrification and switching to net-zero emissions resources; enhancing carbon uptake and stocks."

- "The findings are very clear and indicate the need for taking urgent actions to tackle climate change," says Associate Professor Ayyoob Sharifi and Urban Knowledge-Action Network Advisory Group member. He continued: "The report emphasizes that without immediate and deep greenhouse gas emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach. Also, abrupt acceleration of global emissions reductions is essential to achieve the 2°C target. In this regard, cities around the world need to take the lead as, cumulatively, they account for over two-thirds of global emissions."

- Şiir Kılkış, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, and lead author of Chapter 8 of the report, echoed those comments, saying, "time continues to be of the essence with so much mobilization still to take place to address an implementation gap." Kılkış, also an Urban Knowledge-Action Committee Network Steering Committee Member, added, "without limiting global warming to 1.5°C, it will not be possible to achieve sustainable development."

- Shobhakar Dhakal, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Asian Institute of Technology, and also a Science Steering Committee member of the Global Carbon Project, contributed to Chapter 2 of the report.

• The Global Carbon Budget 2021 describes the data sets and methodology used to quantify the emissions of carbon dioxide and their partitioning among the atmosphere, land, and ocean. These living data are updated every year to provide the highest transparency and traceability in the reporting of CO2, the key driver of climate change. 6)

Introduction (of Ref. 6)

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased from approximately 277 parts per million (ppm) in 1750 (Joos and Spahni, 2008), the beginning of the industrial era, to 412.4 ± 0.1 ppm in 2020 (Dlugokencky and Tans, 2022; Figure 1). The atmospheric CO2 increase above pre-industrial levels was, initially, primarily caused by the release of carbon to the atmosphere from deforestation and other land-use change activities (Canadell et al., 2022). While emissions from fossil fuels started before the Industrial Era, they became the dominant source of anthropogenic emissions to the atmosphere from around 1950 and their relative share has continued to increase until the present. Anthropogenic emissions occur on top of an active natural carbon cycle that circulates carbon between the reservoirs of the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere on timescales from sub-daily to millennial, while exchangeswith geologic reservoirs occur on longer timescales (Archer et al., 2009).

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Figure 1: Surface average atmospheric CO2 concentration (ppm). Since 1980, monthly data are from NOAA/ESRL (Dlugokencky and Tans, 2022) and are based on an average of direct atmospheric CO2 measurements from multiple stations in the marine boundary layer (Masarie and Tans, 1995). The 1958–1979 monthly data are from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, based on an average of direct atmospheric CO2 measurements from the Mauna Loa and South Pole stations (Keeling et al., 1976). To account for the difference of mean CO2 and seasonality between the NOAA/ESRL and the Scripps station networks used here, the Scripps surface average (from two stations) was de-seasonalized and adjusted to match the NOAA/ESRL surface average (from multiple stations) by adding the mean difference of 0.667 ppm, calculated here from overlapping data during 1980–2012.

The global carbon budget (GCB) presented here refers to the mean, variations, and trends in the perturbation of CO2 in the environment, referenced to the beginning of the Industrial Era (defined here as 1750). This paper describes the components of the global carbon cycle over the historical period with a stronger focus on the recent period (since 1958, onset of atmospheric CO2 measurements), the last decade (2011–2020), the last year (2020), and the current year (2021). We quantify the input of CO2 to the atmosphere by emissions from human activities, the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 concentration, and the resulting changes in the storage of carbon in the land and ocean reservoirs in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, climate change and variability, and other anthropogenic and natural changes (Figure 2). An understanding of this perturbation budget over time and the underlying variability and trends of the natural carbon cycle is necessary to understand the response of natural sinks to changes in climate, CO2, and land-use change drivers, and to quantify emissions compatible with a given climate stabilization target.

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Figure 2: Schematic representation of the overall perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by anthropogenic activities, averaged globally for the decade 2011–2020. See legends for the corresponding arrows and units. The uncertainty in the atmospheric CO2 growth rate is very small (±0.02 GtC yr-1) and is neglected for the figure. The anthropogenic perturbation occurs on top of an active carbon cycle, with fluxes and stocks represented in the background and taken from Canadell et al. (2022) for all numbers, except for the carbon stocks in coasts which is from a literature review of coastal marine sediments (Price and Warren, 2016).

The reader is referred to the paper of Ref. 6).

 


 

RECCAP-2 (REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes-2) 2019-2021

The Paris Agreement on Climate sets the international objective to keep climate warming well below two degrees, and "... to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible ... and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science ... to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century". 7)

This extraordinary challenge requires a dramatic improvement of current scientific capabilities to estimate GHG (Greenhouse Gas) budgets and their trends at regional scale, and how they link up to the global growth rates of the major GHGs.

Key policy-relevant challenges for the scientific community and objectives of RECCAP-2 are:

1) to quantify anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,

2) to develop robust observation-based estimates of changes in carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions and sinks by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems, distinguishing whenever possible anthropogenic vs. natural fluxes and their driving processes,

3) to gain science-based evidence of the response of marine and terrestrial regional GHG budgets to climate change and direct anthropogenic drivers.

To address these objectives, RECCAP-2 will design and perform a set of global syntheses and regional GHG budgets of all lands and oceans, and explore mechanisms by which to deliver regular updates of these regional assessments based on scientific evidence, considering uncertainties, understanding of drivers, and retrospective analysis of recent trends.

Initial topics:

• Regional budgets and drivers. Focus on the last decade (2009-2018) and redo previous decades for trends in light of better understanding of sub-decal/decadal variability. 10-14 regions globally for land; 5 for oceans divided as interest/data availability. Large countries to have their own GHG budget (eg, Australia, China, EU, India, Russia, USA) given its higher policy relevance.

• Regional hotspots and drivers (including acceleration of change, tipping points).

• Trends (multi-decadal) and variability (annual to decadal) of change of major GHG fluxes.

• Improve incorporation of freshwater and coastal zone fluxes in both land and ocean budgets.

• Global stocktake and tracking towards net zero emissions (anthropogenic versus all fluxes).

• Reconcile and constrain the global GHGs budget with the aggregation of regional budgets (eg, resolving tropical vs. NH carbon net sink).

Approaches and Data:

• Dual constraints from using bottom-up (eg, inventories, land and ocean models) and top-down approaches (atmospheric and ocean inversions).

• GHG budgets including CO2, CH4 and N2O.

• New global and regional observations, including new remotely sensed products (eg, land cover, biomass, column CO2 and CH4)

Sponsors:

• RECCAP-2 is an activity of the Global Carbon Project with a number of partners.

• The European Space Agency (ESA) is supporting the compilation and generation of global products in support of the land regional GHG budgets and supports the First All-RECCAP-2 workshop in Gotemba, Japan.

• The National Institute for Environmental Studies hosts and supports the First All-RECCAP-2 workshop in Gotemba, Japan.

• The International Carbon Coordination Project is a sponsor of the RECCAP-2 Ocean component.

 

RECCAP-2 supports and accelerates the analysis of regional carbon budgets based on the results of data-driven models and process-oriented Global Dynamic Vegetation Models. 8)

REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes', Phase 2 (RECCAP-2) is coordinated by the Global Carbon Project, and collects and synthesises regional data for 14 large regions of the globe with a requirement of harmonisation sufficient to be able to scale these budgets to the globe and to compare different regions.

Key policy-relevant challenges for the scientific community and objectives of the RECCAP-2 project are to:

• Improve quantification of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and their sources;

• Develop robust observation-based estimates of changes in carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions and sinks by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems, distinguishing whenever possible anthropogenic vs. natural fluxes and their driving processes;

• Gain science-based evidence of the response of marine and terrestrial regional GHG budgets to climate change and direct anthropogenic drivers.

 


 

GHG (Greenhouse Gas) news and events

• April 27, 2022: Global fossil CO2 emissions in 2021 are returning to pre-COVID-19 levels according to according to the Global Carbon Project, which has just published the Global Carbon Budget for 2021. 9)

- This latest annual update, show 2021 emissions returned towards their 2019 levels after decreasing 5.4 % in 2020. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 414.7 ppm, 50 % above pre-industrial levels.

- The study, led by Pierre Friedlingstein, and part of the Global Carbon Project (GCP), quantifies the major components of the global carbon budget - and their uncertainties – to determine the remaining net emissions available to avert global warming, covering emissions by sources and removals by land and ocean sinks.

- The authors explain that the rebound in emissions reflect the stringency of the COVID-19 confinement levels in 2020 and the pre-COVID background trends in emissions in these countries.

- The remaining carbon budget for a 50 % likelihood to limit global warming to 1.5, 1.7, and 2ºC has respectively reduced to 120 GtC (420 GtCO2), 210 GtC (770 GtCO2) and 350 GtC (1270 GtCO2) from the beginning of 2022, assuming 2021 emissions levels, according to the report.

 

Figure 3: The Paris Agreement adopted a target for global warming not to exceed 1.5ºC. This sets a limit on the additional carbon we can add to the atmosphere – the carbon budget. Only 18% of the carbon budget is now left. That is about 10 years at current emission rates. - Each country reports its annual greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations. Scientists then set these emissions against estimates of the carbon absorbed by Earth's natural carbon sinks. This is known as the bottom-up approach to calculating the carbon budget. - Another way to track carbon sources and sinks is to measure the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from space – the top-down approach. As well as tracking atmospheric carbon, ESA's Climate Change Initiative is using satellite observations to track other carbon stocks on land and sea. - How we use the land accounts for about a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions. Forests are the largest store of carbon on the land. Fire acts as a conduit for carbon to pass from the land to the atmosphere. And phytoplankton in the ocean is an important carbon sink. - ESA's RECCAP-2 project is using this information to reconcile the differences between the bottom-up and top-down approaches. Observations are combined with atmospheric and biophysical computer models to deduce carbon fluxes at the surface. This will improve the precision of each greenhouse gas budget and help separate natural fluxes from agricultural and fossil fuel emissions. This work will help us gauge whether we can stay within the 1.5°C carbon budget, or if more warming is in store (video credit: ESA/Planetary Visions)

- Highlighting the scale of the action needed the report explains that the remaining carbon budget to keep global temperatures below these climate targets has shrunk by 21 GtC (77 GtCO2) since the release of the IPCC AR6 Working Group 1 assessment. Reaching zero CO2 emissions by 2050, which is needed to limit warming in line with the Paris goals, entails cutting total anthropogenic CO2 emissions by about 0.4 GtC (1.4 GtCO2) on average, each year.

- A major advance in this year's GCP budgeting methods is the ability to link the global carbon budget models' estimates to the official country reporting of national greenhouse gases inventories.

- While country reporting is area-based and attributes part of the natural terrestrial sink on managed land to the land-use sector, the global carbon budget makes it possible to distinguish anthropogenic from natural drivers of land carbon fluxes.

- This new methodology paves the way for countries and the global community to improve checks and consistency of national inventories so they more accurately reflect global emissions.

- A recently published paper by the GCP's ESA-funded RECCAP-2 project, developed such methods based on atmospheric inversions to assess check consistency of national GHG reports (Ref. 11).

- This new inversion method harnesses satellite data and in-situ observations to give a full picture of emissions that accumulate in the atmosphere.

- "If regularly applied, this inversion method will not only improve transparency in the accounting process but will also improve the effectiveness of mitigation policy and progress by individual countries to meet their pledges as part of the Paris Climate Agreement," according to Philippe Ciais from the Université Paris-Saclay and contributor to the GCP.

• April 14, 2022: With the climate crisis continuing to tighten its grip, nations around the world are making efforts to reduce emissions of climate warming gases. To track action, countries report their greenhouse gas emissions to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) – the body responsible for driving global action to combat climate change. While accurate and consistent reporting is crucial, very few countries exploit Earth observation satellite data to check and improve their estimates. Scientists have now devised new ways of comparing national greenhouse gas inventories with independent measurements taken from space. 10)

- Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, is clearly paramount to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. But to understand if mitigation strategies are actually meeting reduction targets, accurate measurements of emissions are key.

- Countries use estimates of sector-based activity to compile their national greenhouse gas reports and to show progress towards delivering on their carbon reduction commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement. Registries of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the flux of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the ground over managed land, are based on national statistics following IPCC guidelines.

- New research, published in ESSD (Earth System Science Data), describes how scientists working within the Regional Carbon Assessment and Processes (RECCAP-2) project, supported by ESA, combined satellite measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane, and in-situ measurements of nitrous oxide, with a model that factors in the movement or ‘flux' of these greenhouse gases between the land surface and atmosphere. 11)

- This ‘inversion method' allowed the authors to determine emissions to the atmosphere of three greenhouse gases for a selection of high-emitting countries, as well as the overall flux of carbon dioxide over managed land. The managed land flux accounts for the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere due to the growth of crops and trees, their export and import across borders, and the anthropogenic component of rivers carrying carbon across borders, as well as carbon dioxide emissions from managed land owing to fires and other disturbances.

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Figure 4: ESA's RECAPP-2 project supports and accelerates the analysis of regional carbon budgets based on the results of data-driven models and process-oriented global dynamic vegetation models (image credit: Pixabay)

- Significant discrepancies between these inversion values and the corresponding national reports were found.

- Methane emissions were found to be higher using the inversion method compared to most national reports. In particular, emissions from oil and gas extracting states in Central Asia and the Gulf were several times higher than officially reported.

- The interactive graph of Figure 5 shows these discrepancies for the Gulf states between 2000 and 2016.

- Absorbing 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon per year, the observed size of the global land carbon sink comprising ecosystems in both managed and unmanaged land, was several times larger than the 0.3 billion tonnes of carbon per year obtained by summing up countries' reports.

- Underreporting of this carbon sink was most evident for temperate and northern hemisphere countries, such as Canada and across the European Union.

- In part, the disparity is explained by the carbon stored by unmanaged ecosystems that fall outside the inventory reporting protocol, while the full picture is observable from space.

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Figure 5: Gulf states: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar (Chart: ESA Source: Deng et al. 2021 Created with Datawrapper)

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Figure 6: This interactive graph shows these discrepancies for Canada between 1990 and 2019. Carbon dioxide absorbed by the land is counted negatively, while carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere is counted positively. (Chart: ESA Source: Deng et al. 2021 Created with Datawrapper)

- With global temperatures having already risen by 1.1°C relative to pre-industrial levels, it is critical that policymakers have an accurate picture of emissions at both national and global scale.

- Current guidelines used to compile national greenhouse gas inventories have their limitations. For example, they are usually based on scaled-up, sector-specific activity and rigid emission factors. Therefore, major emission sources, such as those from unmanaged land, fall out of scope. And, importantly, countries are only encouraged, but not required, to verify inventories against independently observed measurements.

- In contrast, the new inversion method harnesses satellite data and in-situ observations to give a full picture of emissions that accumulate in the atmosphere.

- Unlike national reporting guidelines, the inversion method captures seasonal and interannual extremes, such as drought and major wildfires, which are expected to increase in both frequency and severity as global temperatures ratchet upwards.

- Philippe Ciais, from the Université Paris-Saclay, said, "The proposed method of using atmospheric inversions paves the way for countries and the global community to improve checks and consistency of national inventories to more accurately reflect global emissions.

- "If regularly applied, this will not only improve transparency in the accounting process but will also improve the effectiveness of mitigation policy and progress by individual countries to meet their pledges as part of the Paris Climate Agreement."

- New satellite missions launched in the coming years will provide a much denser sampling of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane. ESA is currently developing the Copernicus Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide mission, which will be the first to measure how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere specifically through human activity. The mission will provide the European Union with a unique and independent source of information to assess the effectiveness of policy measures, and to track their impact towards decarbonising Europe and meeting national emission reduction targets.

• July 23, 2021: The Paris Agreement adopted a target for global warming not to exceed 1.5°C. This sets a limit on the additional carbon we can add to the atmosphere – the carbon budget. Only around 17% of the carbon budget is now left. That is about 10 years at current emission rates. 12)

- Each country reports its annual greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations. Scientists then set these emissions against estimates of the carbon absorbed by Earth's natural carbon sinks. This is known as the bottom-up approach to calculating the carbon budget.

- Another way to track carbon sources and sinks is to measure the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from space – the top-down approach. As well as tracking atmospheric carbon, ESA's Climate Change Initiative is using satellite observations to track other carbon stocks on land and sea.

- How we use the land accounts for about a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions. Forests are the largest store of carbon on the land. Fire acts as a conduit for carbon to pass from the land to the atmosphere. And phytoplankton in the ocean are an important carbon sink.

- ESA's Regional Carbon Cycle Analysis and Processes project is using this information to reconcile the differences between the bottom-up and top-down approaches. Observations are combined with atmospheric and biophysical computer models to deduce carbon fluxes at the surface. This will improve the precision of each greenhouse gas budget and help separate natural fluxes from agricultural and fossil fuel emissions. This work will help us gauge whether we can stay within the 1.5°C carbon budget, or if more warming is in store.

 

Figure 7: Counting carbon - accumulated atmospheric carbon since 1870 (video credit: ESA Planetary Visions)

• July 15, 2021: Brazil's rapid agricultural expansion and population rise make its carbon dioxide emissions from land use and land cover change the largest in the world, contributing somewhere between 17 and 29% of the global total. 13)

- The range represents the considerable uncertainty in these emissions, due to different ways to calculate them. It's important to improve these estimates to reduce the uncertainty in the global carbon budget assessments, which chart our collective progress towards the Paris Agreement target of keeping global warming below 1.5°C.

- Researchers from the ESA Climate Change Initiative RECCAP-2 project recently published an assessment of the multiple ways to calculate the Brazil emissions for the period 2000-2019 using models and satellite Earth Observations.

- To improve the estimates, they found that updating a model of vegetation change using the multi-annual maps of land cover (via ESA CCI Land Cover) produced better agreement with in-country and other global estimates. Their method produced the declining trend in emissions observed over the period and improved the simulation of the arc of deforestation in Amazonia, southeast of Brazil.

- The team used HYDE3.3, a land use dataset based on new FAO inventory estimates and multi-annual ESA CCI land cover maps. With HYDE3.3 the team simulated a declining trend of emissions from land use and land cover change over Brazil, when applied as an input to a global bookkeeping model (BLUE) and a process-based Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (JULES).

- ESA Technical Officer for the RECCAP-2 project, Clement Albergel, says: "The situation is vastly improved and approaches now agree with in-country estimates on the trend and spatial pattern, although magnitude can still be improved – this could be achieved by including new processes and additional Earth Observation data, for example linked to fire (via ESA CCI Fire), and using finer resolution data for deforestation."

• April 20, 2021: New IEA (International Energy Agency) report sees global energy-related CO2 emissions rising by 1.5 billion tons in 2021, driven by a strong rebound in demand for coal in electricity generation. 14)

- Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are on course to surge by 1.5 billion tons in 2021 – the second-largest increase in history – reversing most of last year's decline caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new IEA report released today shows. This would be the biggest annual rise in emissions since 2010, during the carbon-intensive recovery from the global financial crisis.

- The IEA's Global Energy Review 2021 estimates that CO2 emissions will increase by almost 5% this year to 33 billion tons, based on the latest national data from around the world as well as real-time analysis of economic growth trends and new energy projects that are set to come online. The key driver is coal demand, which is set to grow by 4.5%, surpassing its 2019 level and approaching its all-time peak from 2014, with the electricity sector accounting for three-quarters of this increase.

- "Global carbon emissions are set to jump by 1.5 billion tons this year – driven by in the resurgence of coal use in the power sector. This is a dire warning that the economic recovery from the Covid crisis is currently anything but sustainable for our climate," said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. "Unless governments around the world move rapidly to start cutting emissions, we are likely to face an even worse situation in 2022. The Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden this week is a critical moment to commit to clear and immediate action ahead of COP26 in Glasgow."

- Global energy demand is set to increase by 4.6% in 2021 – led by emerging markets and developing economies – pushing it above its 2019 level. Demand for all fossil fuels is on course to grow significantly in 2021, with both coal and gas set to rise above their 2019 levels. Oil is also rebounding strongly but is expected to stay below its 2019 peak, as the aviation sector remains under pressure.

- The expected rise in coal use dwarfs that of renewables by almost 60%, despite accelerating demand for renewables. More than 80% of the projected growth in coal demand in 2021 is set to come from Asia, led by China. Coal use in the United States and the European Union is also on course to increase but will remain well below pre-crisis levels.

- Electricity generation from renewables is set to leap by over 8% in 2021, accounting for more than half of the increase in overall electricity supply worldwide. The biggest contribution to that growth comes from solar and wind, which are on track for their largest annual rise in history. Electricity generation from wind is projected to grow by 275 terawatt-hours, or around 17%, from last year. Electricity generation from solar PV is expected to increase by 145 terawatt-hours, up almost 18% from last year. Their combined output is on track to reach more than 2,800 terawatt-hours in 2021.

- Renewables are set to provide 30% of electricity generation worldwide in 2021, their biggest share of the power mix since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and up from less than 27% in 2019. China is expected to account for almost half of the global increase in electricity generation from renewables, followed by the United States, the European Union and India.

- The Global Energy Review is the IEA's annual update on the latest trends in world energy and CO2 emissions. It covers all the main fuels and technologies, providing insights across regions, economies and countries.

 


1) "Global Carbon Project," URL: https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/about/index.htm

2) "Global Carbon Budget," Published on 4 November 2021, URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20211211094754/https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/21/files/GCP_CarbonBudget_2021.pdf

3) GCP Report No 7, 2010, "Ten Years of Advancing Knowledge on the Global Carbon Cycle and its Management," URL: https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/GCP_10years_med_res.pdf

4) Josep G. Canadell, Robert Dickinson, Kathy Hibbard, Michael Raupach & Oran Young,"Global Carbon Project (2003), The Science Framework and Implementation," Earth System Science Partnership, (IGBP, IHDP, WCRP, DIVERSITAS) Report No. 1; Global Carbon Project Report No. 1, 69pp, Canberra, URL: https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/reports/GCP_Report%20No.1_English.pdf

5) ""At a Crossroads:" Latest IPCC Report Lays Out Actions Needed Now to Mitigate Climate Change," Future Earth, 6 April 2022, URL: https://futureearth.org/2022/04/06/at-a-crossroads-latest-ipcc-report/

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7) https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/meetings/Justification_and_Objectives_of_RECCAP2.pdf

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11) Zhu Deng, Philippe Ciais, Zitely A. Tzompa-Sosa, Marielle Saunois, Chunjing Qiu, Chang Tan, Taochun Sun, Piyu Ke, Yanan Cui, Katsumasa Tanaka, Xin Lin, Rona L. Thompson, Hanqin Tian, Yuanzhi Yao, Yuanyuan Huang, Ronny Lauerwald, Atul K. Jain, Xiaoming Xu, Ana Bastos, Stephen Sitch, Paul I. Palmer, Thomas Lauvaux, Alexandre d'Aspremont, Clément Giron, Antoine Benoit, Benjamin Poulter, Jinfeng Chang, Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu, Steven J. Davis, Zhu Liu, Giacomo Grassi, Clément Albergel, Francesco N. Tubiello, Lucia Perugini, Wouter Peters, and Frédéric Chevallier, "Comparing national greenhouse gas budgets reported in UNFCCC inventories against atmospheric inversions," Earth System Science Data, Vol. 14, pp: 1639–1675, 2022, Published by Copernicus Publications, 11 April 2022, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-14-1639-2022, URL: https://essd.copernicus.org/articles/14/1639/2022/essd-14-1639-2022.pdf

12) "Counting carbon," ESA Applications, 23 July 2021, URL: https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2021/07/Counting_carbon

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14) "Global carbon dioxide emissions are set for their second-biggest increase in history," IEA Press Release, 20 April 2021, URL: https://www.iea.org/news/global-carbon-dioxide-emissions-are-set-for-their-second-biggest-increase-in-history
 


The information compiled and edited in this article was provided by Herbert J. Kramer from his documentation of: "Observation of the Earth and Its Environment: Survey of Missions and Sensors" (Springer Verlag) as well as many other sources after the publication of the 4th edition in 2002. - Comments and corrections to this article are always welcome for further updates (herb.kramer@gmx.net).

 

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