The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide will only climb at a faster rate from this point onwards. The Paris agreement will take some time to kick in, and emissions will still climb for several decades by most expert’s calculations. Several have concluded that by 2030, there will be so much atmospheric carbon dioxide pumped into the sky that we would have locked the planet into warming by 2°C (3.6°F) before the century’s end.
In fact, we’re also currently on track to double the pre-industrial concentration to 560ppm by 2100. One study suggests this could induce a further warming of up to 9°C (16.2°F). This will result in more powerful natural disasters, increased conflict, less food, sunken cities, and the collapse of the world economy – just to give a little preview into the upcoming pandemonium.
It’s an avoidable problem, of course. The US alone could be powered by a wind farm the size of Rhode Island, Indonesia could be fueled by volcanic heat, and a mix of renewables and nuclear power could supply almost any nation with its energy needs. Efforts have picked up pace, but it’s difficult to change centuries-old energy generation infrastructure overnight.
For many reasons, 2016 is turning out to be an incredibly worrying year. Now it’s looking certain that it will also be the hottest year on record, one that’s being smothered in carbon dioxide emissions.
Hopefully the next president of the US won’t think climate change is an international conspiracy, because if they do, you can all but guarantee that the unstable ship we’re on will sink in the ever-rising waters.
Look at that world heating up. Expect more of the same for the next few decades – at least. NASA