Global warming is a winnable war, with proper planning: Study
"That's good news and an excellent reminder of the urgency needed in building a better future."
- Amanda Reed, WorldChanging.com
Humans have yet to push the planet past the point of no return when it comes to global warming, according to the surprising results of a new study.
By the time the existing emitters are pulled from the road, torn down or phased out over the next 50 years, they will have collectively pumped out 496 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, their study concludes. The study says this will raise carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to less than 430 parts per million and push the average global temperature 1.3 C above pre-industrial levels, which is below the 2 C threshold widely expected to lead to dangerous and potentially catastrophic warming.
"The most threatening emissions" are from sources that have yet to be built — the vehicles, homes, factories and energy plants of tomorrow, the researchers conclude
While existing infrastructure is less of a threat to climate than they expected, the researchers stress there is an urgent need to take action.
"Because most of the threat from climate change will come from energy infrastructure we have yet to build, it is critically important that we build the right stuff now — that is, low carbon emission energy technologies," Caldeira says in a summary.