Monday, September 11, 2017

How Much Did These 90 Companies Add to Global Warming and Sea Level Rise?

A new study connects climate change impacts to the emissions from Exxon, Chevron and other large oil, gas and cement companies and their products.

BP, Exxon and Chevron were among the top emitters in a new study that looks at historical emissions and climate change impacts, including sea level rise and global warming . (Credit: Christopher Furlong) Click to Enlarge.
Can millimeters of sea level rise or increments of warming on the globe's thermometer be attributed to specific energy companies?  A new study attempts to do that, and says that more than a quarter of sea level rise and about half the warming from 1880 to 2010 can be traced back to just 90 corporations.

The study comes as energy companies confront lawsuits and shareholder resolutions seeking to account for their contributions to climate change.

The new paper, published last week in the journal Climatic Change, builds on earlier research finding that nearly two-thirds of historical greenhouse gas emissions came from the products and operations of just 90 companies—mostly fossil fuel producers, plus a few cement companies.

The researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists and two universities took the reasoning another step and calculated how much of the actual change in the climate can be tied to those extra emissions.

Using models, they calculated that the greenhouse gas emissions of these 90 companies accounted for around 42 to 50 percent of the global temperature increase and about 26 to 32 percent of global sea level rise over the course of industrial history, from 1880 to 2010.  Since 1980, a time when global warming was first getting wide attention, their emissions have accounted for around 28 to 35 percent of rising temperatures and around 11 to 14 percent of rising seas.

While some of the companies are huge—Chevron, Saudi Aramco, ExxonMobil, Gazprom—even the biggest of them weren't blamed for more than about 1 or 2 percent of the rising tides or temperatures.

Read more at How Much Did These 90 Companies Add to Global Warming and Sea Level Rise?

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