Despite what some American political leaders will say, the Earth’s temperature is rising. In May we wrote about how the parts per million for carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere reached a record high, and now the global temperature is projected to rise by more than 1.5 degrees celsius.

This according to a new paper published in Nature, with it noting that the amount of carbon dioxide emitting infrastructure currently in operation exceeds the prediction that scientists made back in 2010. At the time they projected an increase of roughly 1.3 degrees celsius, but now they are projecting an even higher increase.

If it comes to fruition it would exceed the global rise outlined by the Paris Agreement, as Engadget points out, with the publication adding that current CO2 emissions estimated to generate in excess of 660 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. As such the situation is quite dire, as the paper says anything higher than 580 billion will push Earth past the 1.5 degrees mark.

What happens if the planet passes this threshold?

The MIT Technology Review says such an increase could melt more than 2 million square miles of the Arctic permafrost, destroy 70 percent of the planet’s coral reefs and expose 14 percent of the population to severe heat waves.

The Nature study adds that if the Earth is to correct the impending damage, we need to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but the researchers that put this study together also note that reaching such a state will prove very difficult.

As such it’s up to the world’s leaders and most powerful companies to start thinking more seriously about climate change, and drastically reduce their emissions. Whether that happens, however, is looking less and less likely with each passing day.

[Image – Sam Jotham Sutharson on Unsplash]