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Climate change brings Earth to its hottest in 115,000 years, say experts - 4th October


A new paper submitted by James Hansen and 11 other experts states that 2016 temperatures are likely to be 1.25C above pre-industrial times, which has followed a warming trend in which the Earth has heated up at a rate of 0.18C per decade over the past 45 years.

Such a rate of warming has not been seen since the Eemian period, an interglacial era ending 115,000 years ago where there was much less ice, and the sea level was 6-9m higher than today’s levels.

The published paper states that in order to meet last year’s Paris climate accord, CO2 extraction costing between $104-570tn will be required over the coming century – which will still contain large risks and uncertainty.

Hansen believes there is a misconception that we have begun to address climate change and that even optimistic assumptions of emissions reductions will cost hundreds of trillions of dollars which puts young people in charge of a situation which is beyond their control.

Hansen has repeated his call for a global tax to be placed on carbon emissions, and that fossil fuel companies should be forced to pay for emissions extraction, in the same way that the tobacco industry has been sued over the health impact of cigarettes.

The 2C limit on average global temperature rise is dependent on a widespread conversion of biofuels and CO2 sequestration – both of which are not certainties in a world which is demanding more and more food production, and as yet undeveloped technology.

The NOAA last week stated that CO2 levels will not drop below 400ppm in our lifetimes, which is the highest concentration of CO2 since the Pliocene era 3 million years ago which highlights the urgency needed to take action before more irreparable changes occur.

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