The world attempts to bend a curve

Increasing Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere is threatening the Planet’s health. Art by Shayantani Chatterjee, CSTEP
The Earth has a breathing cycle that naturally removes Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere during the summer when plants grow.
Dr Charles Keeling chose Mauna Loa, a volcanic mountain (Hawaii), to set up his laboratory and study atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.

Tempting as it is, no, we (neither rich nor poor countries) don’t have that choice anymore. We may have had a brief window in the early 1990s, but the unchecked rise in emissions has closed this window. Scientists estimate that if we do not implement strong mitigative action, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will hit 600–900 ppm by 2100. We have already crossed important thresholds; we are experiencing some of the effects and others we will be facing soon. By ignoring increasing emissions instead of checking them, the magnitude of climate change will become so big that adapting to it becomes impossible.

A schematic overview of inter-relationships between adaptation, mitigation and impacts, based on Holdridge’s life-zone classification scheme (Holdridge, 1947, 1967; M.L. Parry, personal communication). Source: Klein, R.J.T., S. Huq, F. Denton, T.E. Downing, R.G. Richels, J.B. Robinson, F.L. Toth, 2007: Inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 745–777.



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