The Global Carbon Project published articles simultaneously in three journals on Monday: a detailed overview of their work in Earth System Science Data, a short analysis of how unsafe rising emissions are in Environmental Research Letters, and a call for more nimble monitoring of the Earth's carbon flows in Nature Climate Change. China's coal consumption grew by 3%, while oil (5%) and gas (12%) continued rising.
Researchers are uncertain if the rise in emissions is a one-off or the start of a new period of Carbon dioxide build-up.
These startling facts came to light in the 2017 Global Carbon Budget was published by the Global Carbon Project in journals Nature Climate Change, Environmental Research Letters and Earth System Science Data Discussions.
The figures point to China as the main cause of the renewed growth in fossil emissions - with a projected growth of 3.5%.
The rise of global emissions projected for the year 2017 in the current research is attributable to multiple causes.
Increases in coal use in China and the U.S. are expected this year, reversing their decreases since 2013. "This is very disappointing", an official statement quoting lead researcher Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said.
"With global Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2ºC let alone 1.5ºC".
Although a hot El Niño might not be the same as a sustained warmer climate, it nevertheless serves as a warning of the global warming in store, and underscores the importance of continuing to monitor changes in the Earth system.
Global emissions from fossil fuels and industry are on track to increase roughly 2 percent over last year's levels, driven in part by a rebound in coal use in China, the world's largest emitter. "If we want to ensure that emissions remain flat we have to put policies in place. and the second step is to start to drive emissions down". Higher prices saw a drop in the use of natural gas for electricity - with renewables and hydro-power picking up the slack. Emissions in the US were projected to decline by 0.4 percent, although coal use is to rise slightly.
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Similarly, the European Union's emissions are expected to fall just 0.2 percent this year, a smaller decrease than the 2.2 percent average annual decline of the previous decade.
"There have been lots of ups and downs in the use of coal but in the background there has been no weakening in the use of oil and gas".
The finding, issued by an worldwide team of scientists, comes as diplomats in Bonn this week etch details into the 2015 United Nations Paris climate agreement.
Researchers involved with the study say they are not moving fast enough.
"As each year ticks by, the chances of avoiding 2 C of warming continue to diminish", said co-author Glen Peters, research director at Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway.
"These countries have to be pushing on with the policies, but everything keeps getting pushed back".
While it's unclear if the increase in emissions is a one-off or return to growth, this latest news is a setback in achieving targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
"The past three years were quite exceptional in so far as that in the whole record, it's the first time that we saw emissions not growing at the same time as the global economy was growing quite strongly", he said.Worldwide, 21 countries, including the US, Denmark and France, have reduced their Carbon dioxide emissions over the last 10 years while achieving economic growth.
"The climate will not let us wait until 2020 when the Paris agreement comes into force", said Nicaragua's chief negotiator, Paul Oquist. But he believes it's "vital" that all countries ramp up their emissions pledges and that richer countries support action across the world.