An international project giving up-to-date information on carbon emissions has opened its first UK office at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The Global Carbon Project provides objective scientific data to policy-makers and the public on the latest trends in CO2 emissions and 'sinks' around the world. It already has offices in Australia, Japan, France, US, China and South Korea. More than 50 scientists around the world contribute their expertise to the project.
The UK Global Carbon Project Office will be located within the UEA-led Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research - a partnership of eight UK universities. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the new office will support the annual publication of the project's 'global carbon budget', which quantifies global CO2 emissions in the previous 12 months and shows how they are divided between the land, ocean and atmosphere.
Last year, the group reported that global CO2 emissions had reached a record 10 billion tonnes following a 50 per cent rise over the last two decades in emissions from fossil fuels. They have also shown that the proportion of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere is increasing as the natural carbon sinks on land and in the ocean weaken in response to recent changes in climate.
Prof Corinne Le Quéré, Tyndall Centre director and co-chair of the Global Carbon Project, said: "Without accurate, up-to-date information, policy-makers lack the tools to plan effective future strategy in this vitally important field.
"Establishing the Global Carbon Project's first UK office is a significant step in improving the quality of the data and reducing uncertainty in the science. Ultimately, our knowledge of global carbon cycles could be such that the weakening of a carbon sink would be precisely located and monitored and act as a kind of early-warning system."
The Global Carbon Project (GCP) was established in 2001 to provide high quality data to underpin policies aimed at limiting the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere. The project's overall goal is to develop a complete scientific picture of the global carbon cycle, including its biophysical and human dimensions, together with the interactions between them. GCP is a project of the Earth System Science Partnership - which comprises the World Climate Research Programme, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the International Human Dimensions Programme, and Diversitas.
The new UK GCP Office at UEA will pave the way for a new International Carbon Office that would compile, analyse, report and archive global CO2 statistics, identify and monitor CO2 sinks, and reduce uncertainty levels in this important area of climate science.
With the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the Climatic Research Unit, the School of Environmental Sciences and the School of International Development, the University of East Anglia is one of the strongest centres of research into global climate change in the world.
For more information please visit www.globalcarbonproject.org