As we debate reducing carbon emissions, we set records for producing them. Projections for a hot future keep rising.
This fall the UK's Met Office released updated projections showing global temperature scenarios for 2100 as we continue pumping planet-warming carbon dioxide, CO2, into the atmosphere.
About the same time the Global Carbon Project reported the world's record rate of CO2 production: we are burning ever more fossil carbon coal, oil, and gas to produce energy, and we keep cutting down our forests.
Our activities drive rising atmospheric CO2 levels, which alter the natural carbon cycle that gives us oxygen to breathe, soaks up CO2, and serves as our climate's thermostat. These recently reported CO2 emission rates are beyond the highest 2007 IPCC projections for climate warming carbon emissions.
A Rising Heat Path
The top arrow on the graphic here shows our temperature pathway unless we radically change our ways.
Changing our ways means reducing our use of fossil fuels, finding alternative energy sources on a massive scale, capturing and storing the carbon pollution from coal burning, and using energy much more efficiently than we do now.
Even if we change how we use energy, a hot future awaits. We will also need to adapt, change how and where we live.