Coal mining (IMAGE) Stockholm University Caption Coal power plants on earth emit over 12 Gt of carbon dioxide each year, nearly one third of the total emissions of carbon dioxide. Coal power plants constitute therefore the single largest source of the global warming. Coal power plants emit also sulphur dioxide that forms aerosols in the atmosphere. Coal power plants have decreased and increased substantially in Europe and East Asia, respectively, during the latest four decades. Credit Tomasz Matuszewski/Mostphotos Usage Restrictions May be used in connection to the related research with the credit visibly displayed. License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.