China’s carbon emissions may be significantly lower than previously thought — about 14% less in 2013 than estimated by the Chinese government and others, according to research published this week in Nature. The analysis draws on data from more than 4,200 Chinese mines — including new measurements of the energy content of coal — among other sources.
“At the beginning of the project we thought that the emissions might be higher” than existing estimates, says Zhu Liu, an ecologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and lead author of the study. “We were very surprised.”
His team’s findings do not unseat China from its position as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Even when the lower estimate is taken into account, China’s carbon output for 2013 is still more than two-thirds higher than that of the United States, the second-largest emitter. Read More
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