Carbon output ‘rising faster than expected’

China's economic rise and a reduction in the amount of carbon soaked up by the world's oceans are helping to trigger global warming that will be "stronger than expected and sooner than expected", scientists warned on Monday.

A new analysis by British scientists, published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere much faster than predicted.

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning has risen by an average 2.9% each year since 2000, the report said. During the 1990s the annual rise was 0.7%.

The study says three processes have contributed to this increase: growth in the world economy, heavy use of coal in China, and a weakening of natural "sinks" – forests, seas and soils that absorb carbon.

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