Climate change photo from Shutterstock

For years, scientists have said that it is imperative to prevent the world’s climate from rising 2 degrees celsius (3. 6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. However according to a new report, climate scientists believe that it is increasingly unlikely that this will happen – data shows that 2012 CO2 emissions hit 35.6 billion tons – a 2.6% increase from 2011 and 58% above 1990 levels.

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The report, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change and Earth System Science Data Discussions, stated that while it has been long-established that carbon emissions are the main contributor to climate change, not enough is being done to reduce the planet’s output.

Despite the UN Climate Change Conference currently underway in Doha, Qatar, many low-lying nations believe that a unified call to action will come too late.

Speaking to BBC News, Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia said: “These latest figures come amidst climate talks in Doha, but with emissions continuing to grow, it’s as if no-one is listening to the scientific community.”

“I am worried that the risks of dangerous climate change are too high on our current emissions trajectory.” Prof Le Quere said, adding that “We need a radical plan.”

Since the 1980s, carbon emissions have been steadily on the rise – research states that the average increases in global CO2 levels were 1.9% in the 1980s, 1.0% in the 1990s, and 3.1% since 2000. However in 2011, it was reported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)  that greenhouse gases levels hit an all-time record high of 391 parts per million.

The worst part is that it’s not just CO2 that is on the increase – other potent greenhouse gases such as methane have also reached new recorded highs. Here’s hoping whatever is decided at Doha will be enough to prevent lasting damage.

+ Earth System Science Data Discussions

Via BBC News

Images: kevin dooley and go_greener_oz