Historical GHG Emissions: Measurements of Emission Trends

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Multiple sources exist for determining regional and global greenhouse gas emissions. Methodologies vary slightly between sources. Most sources confirm an approximate 70% increase in GHG emissions since 1970, with the largest contribution from CO2 (an 80% increase since 1970). Methane (CH4) and N2O emissions have increased roughly 40% and 50% respectively since 1970. CO2 and CH4 emissions increases stem mainly from the increased burning of fossil fuels, with the largest growth occurring within the power generation and transport sectors. Emissions from the power generation sector have grown more than 145% since 1970, and emissions from the transport sector have grown over 120% in the same time frame. N20 increases are due in large measure to the increased use of fertilizer in agricultural production, along with expansion of the agriculture industry.  Emissions resulting from deforestation play a significant role in total global emissions, though inherent difficulties in measurement and verification create data uncertainty in this sector.