Carbon Dioxide Concentrations At Mauna Loa Observatory

Source: DOE, EIA, May 2016 Monthly Energy Review

This year, the world bid farewell to a sub-400 ppm world once and for all. That means we’ve gone beyond the milestone at which scientists say it will be difficult to keep climate change in check. In the past 50 years we have increased the CO2 in the atmosphere by 30%, at a rate that continues to increase, to a level that is higher than at any time in the past 15 million years.

This underscores the inescapable problem with today’s climate mitigation policies: Any results will not come quickly enough to escape the impacts of climate change. Strong mitigation to stem the tide of future change must be paired with policies to adapt to the changes we are already experiencing and will experience in the years ahead. The truly unfortunate fact of this policy scenario where both mitigation and adaptation is needed is that it’s going to cost us a lot more than we would have needed to spend had we dealt with greenhouse gases long ago.

Read more in “The World Hits A Global Warming Milestone This Month. Going Back Will Be Costly” by EPIC’s Amir Jina.

Areas of Focus: Climate Change
Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent global challenge. EPIC research is helping to assess its impacts, quantify its costs, and identify an efficient set of policies to reduce emissions and adapt...