The bad news: Greenhouse gas emissions could hit record highs this year, a new study shows. The kinda good news: Researchers say a recovering economy is to blame. Scientists found that—despite the financial crisis—global carbon dioxide emissions only dropped by 1.3% last year compared to 2008's record highs, less than half the 2.8% reduction that was predicted. Why? While western economies reduced emissions after being hit hard by the financial crisis, emerging economies that were not as devastated actually experienced a rise in emissions.
The UK, US, Japan, Germany, and Russia experienced emissions decreases from 6.9% to 11.8%, but emissions from China, India, and South Korea rose between 1.4% and 8%, LiveScience reports. Researchers now predict that if the economy continues to grow, emissions will increase by more than 3% this year.