If the infrastructure and sources of CO2 emissions continue to operate, they will emit more than 650 billion tons of CO2, which is more than enough to make the global average temperature exceed the threshold of 1.5 degrees C.
Things get worse as many countries are still planning to build more coal-fired power plants in the future. It is expected that new plants will add about 200 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.
According to the conclusion of researcher Dan Tong of the University of California and other colleagues from Tsinghua University (China), Stanford University and CoalSwarm industry monitoring team: "A level of 1.5 degrees Celsius can only be kept provided that new infrastructures do not emit further or continue to operate."
According to the Global Carbon Project data released in 2017, the world is currently emitting over 36 billion tons of CO2 annually from burning fossil fuels and cement production. Besides, there are about 5 billion tons of CO2 from changing land use purposes, especially deforestation and forest burning.
So, every year people are discharging into the atmosphere more than 41 billion tons of CO2.
The most recent estimate shows that if we want to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century with a probability of about 50-66% success, we only have to maintain the CO2 emissions. Dynamic range of 420-580 billion tons and cannot exceed this number. But the current level of emissions, the time to reach 1.5 degrees C will only need about 10-14 years.
Meanwhile, if not to exceed the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius, people will have to maintain emissions of about 1,170-1,500 billion tons of CO2. This level of emissions is equivalent to the next 28-36 years. But the concern is that even though emissions have tended to decrease a few years ago, it is rising again.
Ken Caldeira, a professor at the Carnegie Institute of Science at Stanford University, co-authored the study, said that about a decade ago, he and his colleagues had done a similar study. At that time, they believed, global temperatures could only reach 1.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. However, after 10 years, things have changed in the direction of getting worse when the source of CO2 emissions is increasing.
Research has found that China accounts for 41% of total CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, the US and Europe accounted for only 9% and 7% respectively. It is quite strange that the US and Western countries have a much longer history of greenhouse gas emissions than China.
The unexpected number is explained by China's energy thirst. The country owns a huge number of thermal power plants and in the future, the number will be more than that. With the continuous construction of new thermal power plants over the past 15 years, it is not difficult to understand that China's emissions are much more than Western countries are trying to turn to green energy.
Elmar Kriegler, a scientist at the Potsdam Climate Impact Research Institute in Germany, said that coal-fired and heavy industrial plants in China are contributing to climate change.
It not only pushes global CO2 but will be responsible for more than half of future emissions. If the strategy for building coal-fired power plants continues to flourish in developing countries like India or Southeast Asia, it's hard for the world to maintain global temperatures not exceeding 2 degrees Celsius. at the end of this century.
However, Kriegler said that it was not accurate to confirm that it was too late to prevent global warming above the 1.5 degree Celsius level. Everything is still too early to conclude.
In order to reverse the effects, we will need to dissolve thermal power plants and pollution sources as soon as possible.
Instead, countries must actively promote the use of renewable energy sources from wind and solar, etc. In addition, the scientific community should actively develop larger-scale CO2 capture machines. At present, although there are many technologies for capturing CO2, everything is still small in some countries.
The study was published in the recent Nature journal.
Refer to Sciencealert