Hang on Tight. The Climate Crisis is Going to Get A Lot Worse.

It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to hold the global temperature increase to under 2-degrees — the threshold at which the climate crisis becomes seriously dangerous.

The amount of heat-trapping pollution the world spewed rose again last year by 3 percent. So scientists say it’s now unlikely that global warming can be limited to a couple of degrees, which is an international goal.

The overwhelming majority of the increase was from China, the world’s biggest carbon dioxide polluter. Of the planet’s top 10 polluters, the United States and Germany were the only countries that reduced their carbon dioxide emissions.

Last year, all the world’s nations combined pumped nearly 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, according to new international calculations on global emissions published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. That’s about a billion tons more than the previous year.

The total amounts to more than 2.4 million pounds (1.1 million kilograms) of carbon dioxide released into the air every second.

Because emissions of the key greenhouse gas have been rising steadily and most carbon stays in the air for a century, it is not just unlikely but “rather optimistic” to think that the world can limit future temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), said the study’s lead author, Glen Peters at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway.

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  • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

    Shit. This comment was meant for this thread.

    Fucking Republicans, making me post on the wrong thread.

    • peonyharp

      Ha! I’ll just like it in both places then.

  • Draxiar

    I don’t know if anyone else has seen this but it is worth watching if you get the time.

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/videos/six-degrees-could-change-the-world/

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Ha! You read my mind. As I read Bob’s post, I was thinking that he needs to offer something which will tell people how a degree, or two, etc., will change our world, because most people don’t pay much attention.

    I’ve seen this documentary, and it is worth every minute of the 90 minutes it takes to watch.

    Climate Progress (Joe Romm) posted a thing a year or so ago whereby a consensus of the world’s climate scientists are now predicting that we are too late to keep it to a 1-3 degree rise, that it will be a 4-degree rise….that is, if we start now to do something about it. (goddamn the fucking climate denying right wing!)

    Draxiar, thanks for posting the link ( http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/videos/six-degrees-could-change-the-world/ ) . People need to see this.

    This was intended to be a reply to Draziar, see below for context.

  • i_a_c

    The United States reduced its carbon emissions? That’s actually kind of stunning. It probably has something to do with the sluggish economy, but nonetheless it’s something I didn’t expect.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    I would just like to say…

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      ha!

      victor, did you know that 1º Celcius = 33.800º Fahrenheit?

      • muselet

        A 1°C change in temperature equals a change of 1.8°F. A global mean temperature rise of 4–7°C doesn’t mean a rise of 135–237°F.

        I know you know this, I just don’t want anyone out there to read your comment and rush out to buy a drawerful of Nomex unmentionables.

        –alopecia

        • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

          I guess I should be more careful. ;-)

          (My Nomex undies are already stashed in my closet.) (JK)