Evolution of CO2 Emissions from 1860s to Present

Ever wondered just how much our carbon dioxide emissions have changed and grown over the years? The World Resources Institute developed an informational video to clearly explain and demonstrate just how much our carbon dioxide emissions have grown since the 1860’s. It explains that the world has a “carbon budget”, which means the amount of carbon that can released before it increases the world’s temperature by 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees F). The carbon budget is based on global temperatures pre-industrialization. Currently, we have used 50% of our carbon budget in a short time frame. It is estimated that if we do not take serious actions to curb our carbon emissions, we will have exceeded our “carbon budget” by 2045. That is well within the average 30 year olds’ life span. And what happens if we exceed this budget? The drought, fires, glaciers melting  we see today will seem like child’s play. These types of events will increase and become more severe.

The U.S. has fallen out of the #1 spot for carbon emissions but this is mainly due to a large increase as China expanded. As we can see from the final numbers in the video, it is a global commitment that needs to take place. A global commitment cannot start without a personal one! So every time we recycle or conserve water or choose to bike instead of drive, it will make a difference toward keeping the world within its budget. We know the maximum capacity of the world and we are fast approaching it. We have the tools developed to switch to a sustainable life and now the important step is one as a community toward conserving the world.