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Carbon Emissions Climbing
[Earth Policy Institute]: Though economic growth slowed throughout much of the world during 2001, world carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels continued their relentless upward trend, surpassing 6.5 billion tons. (See data.) As a result of the consistent growth of emissions, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased from the preindustrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to today’s 370 ppm, a 32-percent increase. In the last 20 years, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased at the unprecedented rate of 1.5 ppm a year.