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Article Title: Why climate action is urgent
Specialization Codes: 11.5 - Other, 12.4 - Other, 13.9 - International Energy Organizations, 15 - Energy Modeling, 8.1 - Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases, 9.1 - Energy Production and Transformation,
Authors: Y.A. Phillis, A.M. Madni, E. Grigoroudis, F. Kanellos, V.S. Kouikoglou, and S. Papaefthimiou
Publication Date: 2014
Description: Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas in the atmosphere responsible for long-term global warming, and scientific evidence indicates that the current CO2 concentration is probably the highest in the last 15 million years, more than 391 ppm, compared to the preindustrial level of 278 ppm. CO2 emissions grew 1.1 percent per year from 1990 to 1999 but since 2000 they have been growing by more than 3 percent per year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported a reading of CO2 at Mauna Loa of 400.03 ppm on May 9, 2013. Global warming due to past anthropogenic CO2 emissions is irreversible for at least 1000 years, and current and future CO2 emissions will result in additional warming. The international community has set the goal of stabilizing global warming at no more than 2°C above preindustrial levels by 2100, while the Small Island Developing States have set it at 1.5°C. But given current emission levels and minimal international action to mitigate climate change, “there is roughly a 20 percent likelihood of exceeding 4°C by 2100”. It is still possible, however, to keep global warming within tolerable limits through the use of appropriate technologies to replace fossil fuel consumption with other energy sources and the application of international political will to change course and control climate change. Any delay of such action will commit the planet to higher and higher temperatures that will become irreversible in the foreseeable future.
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