Inderscience Publishers

Quantitative study of the CO2 emission to the atmosphere from biological scaling laws

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The increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere from different countries has given rise to one of the most serious environmental problems of our time: global warming. Countries and living organisms are both complex systems in that they use environmental resources to support their own dynamics. Guided by the hypothesis that the behaviour of countries might obey quantifiable universal laws that capture the essential features of other complex living systems, we analysed the CO2 emissions of different countries based on the classical scaling laws of living organisms. Based on these laws, we estimated the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere of 13 countries in terms of each country's body mass. A comparison with empirical data for 2002 suggests that very few countries follow the scaling law. Countries have a body (structure in space), but also a rhythm (structure in time). Based on the idea of similarity between living organisms and countries, optimal features of intermittent flows (rhythmicities) for countries are equally presented.

Keywords: carbon emissions, carbon dioxide, global warming, biological scaling laws, CO2 emissions, living organisms, countries, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions, intermittent flows, rhythmicities

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