Warning of a “giant leap backwards for humankind,” the Global Carbon Project said in a report (pdf) released Monday that carbon emissions are expected to hit a record high in 2017, following three years of stable CO2 levels.
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen about two percent in 2017 according to climate scientists, dashing hopes that the world had already seen the highest emission levels from the coal, oil, and gas industries.
The findings carry urgent implications for the next three years. A report released earlier this year by scientists at Carbon Tracker, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Yale University showed that global emissions must begin falling quickly after 2020 in order to keep the global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Professor Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia, who led the Global Carbon Project’s study, called the findings “very disappointing.”
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“The urgency for reducing emissions means they should really be already decreasing now,” she said in an interview with the Associated Press.
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