Global emissions increase by 6%
The global output of carbon dioxide has increased dramatically, the US Department of Energy said.
The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts four years ago.
The world pumped about 564 million more tons (512 million metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009 - an increase of 6%.
That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries - China, the United States and India, the world's top producers of greenhouse gases.
It is a "monster" increase that is unheard of, said Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University who has helped calculate Department of Energy figures in the past.
Extra pollution in China and the US account for more than half the increase in emissions last year, Mr Marland said.
Tom Boden, director of the Energy Department's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre at Oak Ridge National Lab, said: "It's a big jump. From an emissions standpoint, the global financial crisis seems to be over."
In 2007 when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its last large report on global warming, it used different scenarios for carbon dioxide pollution and said the rate of warming would be based on the rate of pollution.
Mr Boden said the latest figures put global emissions higher than the worst case projections from the climate panel. Those forecast global temperatures rising between 2.4 and 6.4 Celsius by the end of the century with the best estimate at 4 Celsius.