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National contributions to observed global warming


National contributions to observed global warming

Matthews, H. Damon, Graham, Tanya L., Keverian, Serge, Lamontagne, Cassandra, Seto, Donny and Smith, Trevor J. (2014) National contributions to observed global warming. Environmental Research Letters, 9 (1). 014010. ISSN 1748-9326

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/9/1/014010


There is considerable interest in identifying national contributions to global warming as a way of allocating historical responsibility for observed climate change. This task is made difficult by uncertainty associated with national estimates of historical emissions, as well as by difficulty in estimating the climate response to emissions of gases with widely varying atmospheric lifetimes. Here, we present a new estimate of national contributions to observed climate warming, including CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and land-use change, as well as methane, nitrous oxide and sulfate aerosol emissions While some countries' warming contributions are reasonably well defined by fossil fuel CO2 emissions, many countries have dominant contributions from land-use CO2 and non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, emphasizing the importance of both deforestation and agriculture as components of a country's contribution to climate warming. Furthermore, because of their short atmospheric lifetime, recent sulfate aerosol emissions have a large impact on a country's current climate contribution We show also that there are vast disparities in both total and per-capita climate contributions among countries, and that across most developed countries, per-capita contributions are not currently consistent with attempts to restrict global temperature change to less than 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Article
Authors:Matthews, H. Damon and Graham, Tanya L. and Keverian, Serge and Lamontagne, Cassandra and Seto, Donny and Smith, Trevor J.
Journal or Publication:Environmental Research Letters
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1088/1748-9326/9/1/014010
ID Code:982250
Deposited On:21 Mar 2017 13:45
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54


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