World Released 2.4 Million Pounds Carbon Pollution Every Second In 2011, A Record High

Carbon pollution shows no sign of slowing; 2011 emissions jumped 3 percent, and 2012 is on track for another 2.6 percent. According to a new report by the Global Carbon Project, the world’s fossil fuel addiction pumped 38.2 billion tons of carbon pollution, or 2.4 million every second, last year.

The world’s top polluter, China, and India had the largest increases of 10 percent (to 10 billion tons) and 7 percent (to 2.5 billion tons) respectively. The only two of the world’s top polluters with lower emissions were the U.S., the second-largest polluter, and Germany. When the world needs immediate action to cut emissions, this trend of routinely toppling records has scientists uncertain whether the international goal — to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — is even attainable.