Climate pollution equal to about 27 times humans’ 2015 carbon dioxide emissions may have to be removed from the atmosphere and locked underground forever in order to keep the globe from warming beyond 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels, according to a new study.
The research, led by scientists at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, or IIASA, in Austria, adds to the mounting evidence that countries will have to physically remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to prevent global warming from exceeding dangerous levels.
An oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas.
Credit: Roy Luck/flickr
Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is called “negative emissions,” and it’s central to the Paris climate agreement, which aims to prevent the globe from heating beyond 2°C (3.6°F). One of the main goals of the agreement is to keep warming to 1.5°C, a goal growing more difficult as the U.S. and other countries waver on their commitments to cut emissions.
Human greenhouse gas