For decades, there have been issues and warnings about climate change from scientists, researchers, and environmentalists. They have urged people to take necessary precautions to reduce greenhouse gas emission as concerns about climate change rise. The changes in climate have given rise to more draughts, floods, wildfires, and other calamities. Moreover, scientists have found how these events are interlinked and moving toward climate tipping points.
Governments of various countries have taken necessary steps to prevent carbon emission. In February, the Trump administration passed a bill that incentivizes carbon storage and capture. According to the new law, there will be an exemption of $50 for each metric ton of carbon buried underground and $35 for each metric ton of carbon used in some other ways. Moreover, they have been giving permissions and funding to development of electric vehicles. Chinese government has provided tax exemptions to local manufacturers. However, reduction of carbon emissions is not only a task for government but also responsibility of citizens. Despite various measures such as climate policies, hybrid cars, wind farms, and others, there seems a scenario suggesting that we are moving in the wrong direction.
The worst-case scenarios are seeming more likely than ever. According to the projections by a study published in journal Nature in December 2017, the global temperatures could rise nearly 5 °C by the end of this century. This projection is 15 percent higher than the previous projection under the “business as usual” scenario. The authors of the study outlined that the risks associated with climate change are more worrisome than before and there is an urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions even deeper than before to prevent the worst scenario.
Regarding the greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels and industry, the Global Carbon Project outlined that the emissions increased two percent after being relatively flat for three years. The rise has been resulted due to increase in carbon pollution in countries such as China and India. However, the decline in United States could not offset that rise. This showed that our efforts to reduce carbon emissions have not come to fruition. They have not reduced or remained flat, they have increased as compared to the past three years. According to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is a need for reduction of emissions by as much as 70 percent by 2050 to prevent global temperatures from rising above the offset of 2 °C. The statistics show that the world has gone beyond hazardous levels of carbon dioxide concentrations. The extreme weather events, melting ice caps, and rise in temperatures have issued a warning about rising levels of carbon.
The World Meteorological Organization announced that 2017 ended up as “one of the three warmest years on record.” Carbon dioxide can be present in the atmosphere for thousands of years and take nearly a decade to reach its optimum warming effect. Though there are various changes the world has experienced, the full impact of carbon emissions has not experienced yet. It is evident that each ton of carbon emission rises the hazards of climate change. In December 2017, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a Arctic report card, which stated that the North Pole achieved a “new normal.” However, there were no signs of getting back to a “reliably frozen region.” Increase in temperature has blazed a trail of reduction in size of glaciers and shrinking sea ice for long-term. These developments have raised worries about the sustainable future and if emissions are not reduced sooner, they will hamper the world.