Graphic: Anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide, fossil fuel emissions, world gross domestic product (GDP), and world population for the past century. Carbon dioxide data from Antarctic ice cores (green points), Mauna Loa Observatory (red curve), and the global network (blue dots).
Two of the most important climate change gases increased last year, according to a preliminary analysis for NOAA’s annual greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 sites around the world. Researchers measured an additional 16.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) — a byproduct of fossil fuel burning — and 12.2 million tons of methane in the atmosphere at the end of December 2008. This increase is despite the global economic downturn, with its decrease in a wide range of activities that depend on fossil fuel us.
The complete story, courtesy of NOAA, can be read here.