Climate Change

Record Carbon Emissions in 2010

In the wake of the devastating tornadoes in the central U.S., the International Energy Agency has reported that, despite the recession, greenhouse-gas emissions increased by a record amount last year to the highest carbon output in history. A record 30.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere last year, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels—up 1.6Gt from 2009. The shocking numbers mean that the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius—which scientists claim is the threshold for potentially “dangerous climate change”—is “a nice Utopia,” according to the IEA. "Such warming would disrupt the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people across the planet, leading to widespread mass migration and conflict,” Professor Lord Stern of the London School of Economics told The Guardian. “That is a risk any sane person would seek to drastically reduce."