Two-degree goal out of reach?

Scientists believe meeting international climate goal is unlikely

Scientists believe it is unlikely global warming will be limited to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a threshold identified as the “point of no return.”

A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that global emissions rose by 3 percent last year as the world’s nations combined to pump roughly 38.2 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide—about a billion tons more than the previous year, according to Of the top 10 heaviest polluting nations, only the United States and Germany reduced their CO2 emissions. China led the pack by increasing its emissions by 10 percent, to 10 billion tons.

Nearly 200 nations agreed to the 2-degree temperature goal three years ago.

As emissions have steadily risen and most carbon stays in the air for about a century, it is “rather optimistic” to think the world will be able to limit temperature increase to 2 degrees, said the study’s lead author, Glen Peters, of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway. Peters said the world must “throw everything we have” at the problem to reach that goal.