This video shows a very simplistic way of understanding that we can only add so much more carbon to our atmosphere before we reach catastrophic temperature increases. While most are familiar with levels of atmospheric carbon this is not the most important number. The most important carbon numbers relate to the amount of carbon we have added to date, the total amount that we can add to avoid runaway climate change and the difference between the two which is our carbon budget.
Simply put, we cannot afford to add more than 310 gigatons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere if we are to keep global temperature below the internationally agreed upon upper temperature limit of two degrees Celsius.
530 and 840
We have already emitted 530 of carbon, and according to the IPCC’s latest report we can only add a total of 840 gigatons of carbons to stay with the 2 degree C limit. This leaves us with a carbon budget of 310 gigatons.
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