Not So Presto Change-o
In a twist that has surprised scientists, new analyses indicate that the growth rate of climate change has declined about 25 percent since 1980. Climate change is still underway, but now researchers believe that humans may have more time than previously thought to cope with the problem. Scientists don’t understand why this has happened because there has been no decline in emissions of carbon dioxide, but the new trend observed indicates that the growth rate of CO2 in the atmosphere has leveled off and the growth rate of methane has declined. If the trend continues, atmospheric CO2, which had been predicted to double by 2050, will not in fact double until early in the 22nd century, says climatologist James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.