Few Americans are aware of all the recent climate news because of all the headlines about the White House “palace intrigue,” the Florida high school massacre, and the fate of the Dreamers. Warning: The climate news isn’t good.
Let’s start with the leaked draft of a United Nations climate science report. It warns there is a “very high risk” the planet will pass a key warming marker, creeping above 1.5 degrees Celsius in the 2040's, The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney reported February 14. The document also says the possibility of maintaining the planet’s temperature below that level in this century is “already out of reach.”
What’s most striking, Mooney wrote, is the radical nature and rapidity of the changes that would be required to somehow preserve a world below 1.5 degrees. The document finds that the world has 12 to 16 years’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions left, from the start of 2016, if it wants a better-than-even chance of holding warming below 1.5 degrees.