Limits to climate change mitigation and the adaptation imperative

Limits to climate change mitigation and the adaptation imperative / William Y. Brown, Brookings, 7/02/2012

Sometimes it’s difficult to see what’s most likely to happen and not the more pleasant scenario, but the Energy Information Administration (EIA) does just that in its energy outlook “reference case.” Based on existing laws and policies (i.e. “business as usual”), EIA predicts that annual world carbon dioxide emissions will increase from 30.2 billion tons in 2008 to 43.2 billion tons in 2035.  Roughly 278 billion tons of carbon will be pumped into the atmosphere over those 28 years   and, according to findings by the National Research Council, Earth’s temperature will raise by about 0.5 degrees Celsius because of it. The laws and policies needed to stop these emissions are unfortunately not in the forecast, and it is past time to adapt for the change in climate that is coming…

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