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2009 was the bottom of the Great Recession. Real GDP growth has been about 2% a year since then. So I think a 6% increase in emissions since then would be a good guess.

Then that would put total CO2 emissions around 5550 million tonnes this year, instead of 5355. Like I stated, these numbers are estimates, but I still think we are essentially back to CO2 emission levels last seen in the 1990s. The reasons for this could be the offshoring of industry to Asia, plus a current glut of fracked natural gas that makes coal less attractive.

But anyone who wishes to celebrate and declare victory at these developments could be in for a disappointment next May when the Mauna Loa CO2 concentration hits 398 ppm.

- Pete
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