Climate Scientists Set First "Carbon Budget"

Obama Plans to Issue Carbon Regulations

UN-sponsored scientists report a 95 to 100 percent chance that most global warming in recent decades is human-caused. (Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock)
Photo: Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock

A group of United Nations-sponsored climate scientists issued a report Friday outlining the future of climate change: In a matter of decades, man-made carbon emissions will result in devastating changes around the globe.

According to the report, countries must cap their carbon emissions at one trillion metric tons, or face the fact that the planet will warm to 3.6 degrees Farenheit above the level of preindustrial times. The paper estimates that, without disincentives, we we will reach that temperature sometime around 2040.

In order to stay under the UN-dictated limit, companies will have to develop the technology to store carbon dioxide from emissions sources. Some have said that the cost of developing that technology would be prohibitive.

Research nonetheless suggests that the technology can be developed, and the Obama administration is set to move ahead with the first federal carbon regulations on U.S. power companies, a move that incited House Republicans to accuse Obama of waging a "war on coal."

The New York Time reports that any international negotiations toward a climate treaty remain muddled by years-old "technical and political disputes."

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