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CO2 emission

In wake of the Kyoto Protocol the issues of global warming and CO2 trading have received a lot of attention. Coal fires burn to produce large quantities of CO2 along with several other gases such as oxides and dioxides of sulphur and nitrogen. CO2 from coal fires contribute significantly to the green house effect, a phenomenon which is of prime concern to one and all.

Estimates on global coal use and CO2 emission and CO2 emission from fossil fuels in China are given by some organisations. However, a quantitative global estimate of the amount of CO2 produced due to fires in coal mines is difficult to assess. The difficulty stems partly from lack of accurate data in on the extent of burning in different regions and partly from the tendency to conceal information on burning coal by authorities in some other countries.

In China alone, the figures given by various scientific groups vary in this regard. According to reports of the Beijing Remote Sensing Corporation (BRSC), Aerophotogrammetry and Remote Sensing Bureau of China Coal (ARSC) and works of Professor Guan Haiyan from China, the annual loss of coal due to coal fires in China is between 10 to 20 million tons. However, figures given by Rozema et al. in 1993 are 10 times higher which means that 100 to 200 million tons of coal are lost due to coal fires in China. Assuming these latter figures to be a realistic measure of the coal being burnt, the CO2 emitted, solely due to these fires, would amount to 2 to 3 percent of the world's total CO2 emission due to fossil fuels.