Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

A dark milestone that nobody wanted to see the planet achieve!

The Planet Breaks Record for Carbon Dioxide Emissions, On Pace to Do It Again

The planet reached a sad goal last year: more carbon was spewed into the earth’s atmosphere than at any previous time in history.

China, India and the United States led the world’s polluters. Scientists – who released their findings in September 2014 – estimated that 39.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide was pumped into the planet’s atmosphere.

Despite the growing awareness of global warming and environmental dangers, that number represents a 2.3% increase over 2012, which translates into about 778 million more tons of carbon dioxide

Record for Carbon Dioxide Emissions: The Wrong Direction for the Planet

Reaction to the report, released in the science journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change, was understandably strong. This was especially true because the report projected that in 2014, emissions will continue to increase by as much as 2.5%.

A Sad Day: Record Breaking Carbon Dioxide Emissions“It’s the wrong direction,” Norwegian scientist Glen Peters, who is part of an international team that tracks global emissions, told the Associated Press (AP). The AP also quoted Pierre Friedlingstein, a professor at the University of Exeter in England who was one of the authors of the report, as saying that “time is running short” for people around the globe to take action.

Friedlingstein said the planet could be “hitting this wall in 2040-something.” Carnegie Institution ecologist Chris Field also told AP the report provides leaders around the globe a “stark and sobering picture” of where global pollution is going and a warning that something needs to be done.

Some are taking these warnings more seriously than others.

Massive Climate Change March in New York

In September, an estimated 100,000 people descended on Manhattan to stage a protest march from Columbus Circle to Times Square and beyond.

The focus of the protest? Inaction by the world’s political leaders on the climate change issue as well as a lack of planning for how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The New York Times called the march “a spectacle even for a city known for doing things big.”

The march attracted environmental leaders such as former Vice President Al Gore, Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary general of the United States, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Blasio recently announced a plan to cut New York’s carbon emissions by 80% over the next 40 years.

There also were scientists, but the majority of the crowd were ordinary citizens interested in sparking a change in climate change policy. Protesters came from around the world, hoping to raise the importance of the issue in the eyes of politicians.

As one sign said at the march, “There Is No Planet B.”

More Cause for Concern

Those looking for the effects of increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions can look to a study released earlier this year from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that found the months of June, July and August in 2014 were the hottest months on record ever. The same report also projected that 2014 will be the hottest year ever, breaking the record set in 2010.

Additionally, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reported that a study of 16 extreme weather events in 2013 found that nine of them can be linked to climate change and specifically the burning of fossil fuels.

Those included, according to the report, amplifying temperature in China, Japan, Korea, Australia and Europe, intense rains in United States and India and droughts in California and New Zealand.

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