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ENERGY demands across the world drove carbon emissions to record breaking levels last year, according to a study published today by International Energy Agency (IEA).
Demand for energy grew by 2.3 per cent worldwide last year, its fastest pace this decade, the IEA report said.
“Demand for all fuels increased, with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70 per cent of the growth for the second year running.”
The world’s demand for coal, oil and natural gas all increased, resulting in a 1.7 per cent rise in global energy-related CO2 emissions.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol lamented the failure of governments worldwide to address the the planet’s looming ecological collapse.
“Despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts — developing all clean energy solutions, curbing emissions, improving efficiency and spurring investments and innovation, including in carbon capture, utilisation and storage,” he said.
Meanwhile, a study by Nasa climate scientists found one of the world’s fastest melting glaciers has increased in size, but there is little reason to celebrate.
Greenland’s enormous Jakobshavn glacier had been retreating by about 1.8 miles a day and thinning by roughly 130 feet a year.
However, according to Nasa’s research published in Nature Geoscience today, the ice has been growing around the same rate that it was shrinking for the past two years.
“That was kind of a surprise. We kind of got used to a runaway system,” said Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ice and climate scientist Jason Box.
“The good news is that it's a reminder that it's not necessarily going that fast. But it is going.”
One possible reason for Jakobshavn’s reverse course, the study says, could be due to a natural weather phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation, which temporarily cools and warms parts of the ocean.
The study shows that ocean temperature has a greater impact on glacier retreats and advances than previously thought, study co-author and Nasa climate scientist Josh Willis said.
“In the long run, we’ll probably have to raise our predictions of sea level rise again,” Mr Willis said.
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