How Much do Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have to be Reduced to Stop Climate Change?


Current atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are projected to increase global temperatures by an additional 1oF in coming decades.





Some Change Inevitable

Thus some degree of continued climate change is inevitable, despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but emissions reductions will aid in reducing the magnitude of that change and stopping human-induced increases in global temperatures.


Halting GHG (Greenhouse Gases) Rise

In order to stop temperature increases, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be stabilized, meaning emissions of these gases must be reduced to such a level that they do not cause any additional increase in atmospheric concentrations. A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences, to stabilize the atmospheric CO2 concentration at the current level would require emissions to peak now and be reduced by more than 80 by the end of this century. Obviously, emissions cannot peak immediately, so it will not be possible to stabilize CO2 at the current level. The longer emissions reductions are delayed, the higher the concentration that

can be stabilized.

Source: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions


This article is part of our educational series on Climate Change. See related articles below.