When scientists warn that we’ve almost reached our global carbon emissions budget—and that if we don’t start reducing emissions we’ll see catastrophic effects of climate change—it sounds dire for sure, but it can also be hard to grasp.
What does that even mean? How much have carbon emissions really increased in recent decades? This new animated graphic
puts it into perspective, and it’s a stark visual of how close we are to reaching a tipping point.
The graphic shows our atmosphere as a bucket, representing the limited amount of greenhouse gases it can hold before we reach that 1.5 degrees of warming benchmark.