The first skill in Module 1 of this program relates to your understanding of climate change. The most prevalent challenge facing humanity today, 97% of scientists are now in agreement as to its impact on the earth.
To prevent runaway climate change, scientists initially recommended that we reduce our fossil fuel emissions to 450 parts/million, which will limit global warming to a 2°C rise by 2050. Many scientists suggest that if we manage to stabilise warming at this level, we can avoid the potentially devastating effects of global warming.
However, new data from NASA scientist, James Hansen, suggests that only a 1°C rise in temperatures could lead to this runaway warming process. Consequently, he advises that 350 parts/million is the maximum volume of greenhouse gas emissions that should be considered ‘safe’.
When considering our current projection, the chance of our reaching either of these targets is unlikely. We’re presently sitting at 0.7°C above pre-industrial levels, which means our greenhouse gas emissions are currently at 400 parts/million – a critical figure for both scientific scenarios.