Energy and climate watchers will be aware that growth in global fossil fuel (FF) combustion has paused. Real enthusiasts will also be aware that growth in cement production has paused too. Why then has atmospheric CO2 continued to rise?
The starting point is to appreciate that FF+cement emissions are running at close to 10 GtC per annum while removal by terrestrial and oceanic sinks is running at around 5 GtC per annum. Thus, for so long as emissions are in excess of removal, atmospheric CO2 will continue to rise. In this post I lay out two scenarios for future consumption of FF: 1) Business as Usual and 2) Austerity, where consumption is reduced to 6 GtC per year. In the latter, CO2 continues to rise through 2050.