With the growing concern about climate change and curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the pace has only picked up in the last decade - significantly.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Christopher Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science said that carbon emissions have been growing 3.5% per year since 2000, up from just 0.9% per year in the 1990's.
Referring to the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Field said that emissions are "...now outside the entire envelope of possibilities."
The largest factor in the rapid increase is due to the widespread adoption of coal as an energy source.
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