President Donald Trump has decided in his infinite wisdom, doubtless having brought his deep understanding of an incredibly complex scientific issue to bear on the matter, that the world’s climate will be best served by the largest polluting nation on the planet no longer being part of the coordinated fight to reverse the negative impacts on climate change of said nation (and all other nations – including Russia – who are still perfectly prepared to remain united). The decision is typical of the man’s single-minded leadership style.
The 2015 Paris agreement aims to keep global temperatures “well below” 2.0 degrees C above pre-industrial times and to limit greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally.
Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of industry and accounts for about 82 per cent of US greenhouse-gas emissions. Using data from the paleoclimate record, scientists have measured carbon dioxide over millennia.
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere have soared since measurements began in 1958, at the pristine Mauna Loa mountaintop observatory in Hawaii, climbing from 316 parts per million (ppm) in 1958 to more than 400 ppm today.
Global temperatures have risen in parallel, with 2016 standing as the hottest year since records started in 1880 — 2016 was about 1.1 degrees C warmer than pre-industrial levels.
E&T reported on Trump’s landmark decision on climate change earlier today.
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