Texas Tech University

Climate: 7 questions on 2 degrees

NewsDay Zimbabwe

April 27, 2015

NewsDay Zimbabwe - WE’RE 2°C from a different world. Humans never have lived on a planet that’s 2°C (3,6 Fahrenheit) warmer than it was before we started burning fossil fuels in the late 1800s and climate experts say we risk fundamentally changing life on this planet if we do cross that 2°C mark.

No one knows, exactly. Think of 2°C like a sort of speed limit — or a zone of increased risk. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech, told me that burning fossil fuels is like smoking. How many cigarettes give you cancer? No one knows, exactly. But the more you smoke, the more you up your risk. And 2°C, policy experts agree, is certainly risky territory.

Plus, everyone hates a fraction.

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