LONDON (Reuters) - Increases in the amount of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere accelerated last year, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told Reuters on Wednesday.
The new data may dampen hopes that a slowdown in industrial output and carbon emissions, which started at the end of last year, will temporarily deflect climate change.
Some analysts had hoped that recession would give the world breathing space to reverse its impact on the climate. The new NOAA data showed that levels of carbon dioxide accelerated slightly last year.
"For us to see (the impact) in the atmosphere it would take a large drop in emissions, but it hasn't happened yet and that's very clear from this data," said Thomas Conway, a NOAA climate scientist who helped compile the figures.
Even with the recession and high gas prices that led to less driving, emissions went up. It is going to be an interesting couple of decades.