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Global greenhouse gas emissions at all-time high, study finds

The Guardian – Scientists say world is burning through ‘carbon budget’ that can be emitted while staying below 1.5C: “Greenhouse gas emissions have reached an all-time high, threatening to push the world into “unprecedented” levels of global heating, scientists have warned. The world is rapidly running out of “carbon budget”, the amount of carbon dioxide that can be poured into the atmosphere if we are to stay within the vital threshold of 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures, according to a study published in the journal Earth System Science Data on Thursday. Only about 250bn tonnes of carbon dioxide can now be emitted, to avoid the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere that would raise temperatures by 1.5C. That is down from 500bn tonnes just a few years ago, and at current annual rates of greenhouse gas emissions, of about 54bn tonnes a year over the past decade, it would run out well before the end of this decade. Prof Piers Forster, the director of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures at the University of Leeds, and lead author of the paper, said: “This is the critical decade for climate change. Decisions made now will have an impact on how much temperatures will rise and the degree and severity of impacts we will see as a result.” He said the rate of annual increase in emissions had slowed down, but far stronger action was needed. “We need to change policy and approaches in light of the latest evidence about the state of the climate system. Time is no longer on our side,” he said…”

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