Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States increased by about 12% between 1990 and 2010. Since the combustion of fossil fuel is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, changes in emissions from fossil fuel combustion have historically been the dominant factor affecting total U.S. emission trends. Changes in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are influenced by many factors, including population growth, economic growth, changing energy prices, new technologies, changing behavior, and seasonal temperatures. Between 1990 and 2010, the increase in CO2 emissions corresponded with increased energy use by an expanding economy and population, although the economic downturn starting in 2008 influenced the decrease in emissions in 2009. Transportation emissions also contributed to the 12% increase, largely due to an increase in miles traveled by motor vehicles.
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