Even if Carbon Dioxide emissions ceased immediately, temperatures may still remain elevated for centuries rather than decreasing. This is because each molecule of CO2 can last 200-300 years in the atmosphere. We should not be discouraged by this, and give up on making changes. If we do not reduce emissions, problems will only worsen.
In terms of improvements to our planet’s health?
To be pessimistic, I don’t think any changes for the better will be evident in our lifetimes. Research by the National Academy of Sciences has found that climate change resulting from atmospheric carbon concentrations is irreversible for 1000 years after emissions cease completely. That’s in the situation where our emissions drop to zero immediately. The climate bill in the Senate only advocates only a 17% reduction from 2000 levels. According to most climate researchers, we’re already committed to an increase in temperatures of at least 2 degrees in the next century with a complete switch to clean energies tomorrow.
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