Cool Idea

While nations concede a pressing need for attacking carbon dioxide emissions, other pollutants offer quicker paybacks

By Erin Wayman, 18:00 PM September 27, 2013

T wo degrees Celsius: the point of no return. Once average global temperatures exceed preindustrial levels by this amount, scientists warn, a climate catastrophe could become inevitable. Current projections indicate that it would be too late to prevent sea ice from disappearing, ice sheets from collapsing and rising seas from swallowing heavily populated coastlines.

A whole new climate would emerge. Lasting millennia, this hotter world would be humankind’s most enduring legacy, perhaps outla...

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