The only measurement that matters is greenhouse-gas emissions—and they continued to rise
Even as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere race toward levels that could lock in catastrophic warming, the world continued to pump out more. Our collective failure to begin cutting emissions over the last 10 years almost certainly shatters the dream of halting rising temperatures at 1.5 ˚C. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine achieving the pace and scale of change now required even to prevent 2 ˚C.
Among other sharply escalating dangers, that half-degree difference could doom the world’s coral reefs and regularly expose nearly 40% of world’s population to staggering heat waves.
There were faint signs of progress. Renewables and electric vehicles finally took off, and nearly 200 countries committed to cutting their emissions under the landmark Paris climate agreement in 2016.
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