Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels today are higher than at any point in the past 800,000 years or more.
During a year when terms like carbon neutrality and net zero have become more and more commonly used, it appears the world is waking up to the imperative underscored in every high-level climate assessment—humanity needs to make a drastic change to stem the most catastrophic climate change consequences.
Climate impacts are happening more quickly than many scientists had predicted. Greenhouse gases are making the planet hotter. That rise in temperature is disrupting the weather and climate system in profound and cascading ways.
In its 2020 report, The UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) concluded that despite a slight dip in atmospheric CO2 created by the pandemic lock down in 2019, “the world is still heading for a catastrophic temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century—far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.” It goes on to say, to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, we need to remove 10 billion tons of CO2 from the air by 2050.
Continue reading at Columbia Climate School
Image via Columbia Climate School