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The chances of the world holding temperature rises to 2C – the level of global warming considered “safe” by scientists – appear to be fading fast with US scientists reporting the second-greatest annual rise in CO2 emissions in 2012.

Carbon dioxide levels measured at at Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii jumped by 2.67 parts per million (ppm) in 2012 to 395ppm, said Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The record was an increase of 2.93ppm in 1998.

The jump comes as a study published in Science on Thursday looking at global surface temperatures for the past 1,500 years warned that “recent warming is unprecedented”, prompting UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, to say that “staggering global temps show urgent need to act. Rapid climate change must be countered with accelerated action.”

Tans told the Associated Press the major factor was an increase in fossil fuel use. “It’s just a testament to human influence being dominant”, he said. “The prospects of keeping climate change below that [two-degree goal] are fading away.”

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Dernier reflet de montagne... nuage sous quai....

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Earlier today, I noted a new study the found Earth is soon to be the hottest it has been in 11,300 years. To make matters worse, The Guardian reports that scientists at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory have measured a large increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, suggesting the chances of keeping temperature rise below 2C are “fading fast.”

John Vidal at The Guardian reports on the ominous implications of this CO2 increase:


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