How Measurement Errors Led To The Biggest Discrepancy In Ascertaining Greenhouse Emissions – The Second Angle



As per the scientists, there has been a staggering 5.5-billion-ton gap between  Greenhouse emissions accepted by the Nations of the world each year. However, The problem arises due to the measurement of emission. There is no worldwide Generally accepted accounting standard to measure the emission. Each country Uses its independent model for the same. Such accounting discrepancies are a Threat to the readily complicated task of resetting the world’s climate trajectory.

The Reason for such gaps is highly technical to understand. However, the largest contributing countries claim that they have a major reduction in their annual emission. This is due to the forest absorbing carbon dioxide out of the air. The major contribution of carbon dioxide is made by humans by burning fossil fuels and other activities.

As per Giacomo Grassi, a forest expert at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, there is a huge gap of about 5.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide, which is huge. He exclaimed that the gap is quite new. Grassi leads authors of the study published in “Nature climate change“, a prominent website that includes research on nature and climate change.



Furthermore, the emergence of such discrepancy is crucial as it emerges at a very unusual time as a world leader is engaged to cut down the emission to prevent, the disaster of change in the level of warming in coming years.

Greenhouse emissions
The Nature Conservancy

As a part of the international Paris Climate accord and prior agreement of the UN, Nations are required to provide a piece of detailed information about their emission and various step undertaken by them to reduce such emissions. However, between 2005-2015, the nation’s claiming reduction of CO2 out of the air is doubtful. Grassi and other fellow scientists found that some countries removed so much out of the air that it is very difficult to ascertain how they evaluated their individual climate goals.

A few years back, the former President of the US has pulled back from the Paris accord. Such are irresponsible acts by Leading countries leaving a sign of foul tradition. The same mistake was corrected on the very first day when the new President Biden entered the office.



If countries are using one accounting method but independent models are using another, the results will make it difficult to determine where the world stands in its greenhouse emissions-cutting goals.


The situation shall be more problematic in the future as per scientists. Myanmar, by its self-independent accounting, claimed itself as carbon-negative already. They claim that they have so many forests sucking up the carbon dioxide from the air. But as Myanmar itself has noted that the fossil fuel emission is expected to increase rapidly in the future.

Grassi and his co-authors claim that such a problem could be addressed only by way call an “adjustment” to the models that policymaker use to estimate the carbon emission.

Grassi believes that the greenhouse gas inventory on average is not wrong but the key point is the measurements are different. He also believed that for large emitting countries like the US, China, it is certainly convenient to be able to report smaller ‘net emissions’.

A new methodology for estimating the emission is yet to be evolved and to be accepted widely. The concept of Environmental Audit is also evolved. Such audit shall be helpful for the creation of a better environment and a better future. Earth is not an asset but a liability to the man-kind. Since the future belongs to the future generation!



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