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Greenhouse gases are already causing global warming so how can reducing emissions counteract this?

If existing levels of greenhouse gases are causing global warming how can reducing emissions counteract this? Surely the total amount of these gases in the atmosphere has to be reduced below present levels and how can that be achieved while population and all human activities continue to increase?
David Edwards from Perth & Kinross (Age 55+)


One Response

  1. Dear David,

    You’re absolutely right; we cannot hope to reverse global warming by cutting emissions. Instead what we can aim to do is slow the rate of warming. Our greenhouse gas emissions have already committed Earth to a certain amount (about another 1 degrees C), the task now is to stabilise concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level which avoids additional warming of 2, 3 or even 4 degrees C during this century. This means big cuts in emissions over the next few decades. In truth, the time for ‘solving’ human-induced climate change is past, the focus of mitigation and adaptation is now necessarily one of damage limitation.

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