This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 08, 2003

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Drop 1.2 Percent in 2001

DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported in December a 1.2 percent drop in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2001, the largest decrease since the EIA began tracking the figures in 1990. Back in July, the EIA reported a 1.1 percent drop in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, which suggested that the total greenhouse gas emissions would show a similar trend, as the December report confirmed. The EIA attributes the decrease to slow economic growth, reduced manufacturing output, lower electrical demand, and a warmer-than-normal winter. See the EIA press release.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the winter of 2001-2002 was the ninth warmest on record in the United States. Overall, 2002 is likely to register among the 20 warmest years on record for the country. On a global scale, 2002 is likely to be the second-warmest year on record. Preliminary estimates released by NOAA in December found that average global temperatures were likely to end up at 1.03 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average, an average that was only exceeded during the strong El Nino year of 1998. See the NOAA Web site.