Fatal attraction to inaccurate data on carbon emissions

From Take Part:

A nation of 1.3 billion people, China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading greenhouse gas polluter in 2007. But scientists and policymakers alike have questioned whether data on carbon emissions in China is reliable enough to tell the full story.

A paper published yesterday in Nature Climate Change validates those concerns. China’s carbon emissions could be 20 percent higher than previous estimates, the study suggests, indicating that climate change may be occurring at an even more rapid and dangerous pace than previously thought…

The implications of this finding for global climate change are tremendous—the implications for policy perhaps even more so. The study’s authors warn that reliable national statistics are imperative for “global negotiations about future emission targets.”

Rather than addressing the inconsistencies in their data, the Chinese government earlier today argued that the climate crisis has been caused by developed nations, and that China has already taken appropriate steps to deal with climate change.

Obtaining accurate information on emissions isn’t just a problem in China, experts say.

“Much of the world does not have in place the capabilities and procedures for accurately reporting emissions of greenhouse gases,” wrote Rick Piltz, the founder and director of Climate Science Watch, in an email to TakePart. “This is something that must be improved over time as one important component of developing climate policy and implementing international agreements.”

Rather than addressing the inconsistencies… Isn’t it amazing how certain individual governments — not just China — would rather defend their abuse of the ecosystem than make corrections that could benefit the entire human race? Meanwhile, average temperatures around the world keep rising.