As the world scrambles to find ways to lower the impact of industrialization on the environment, researchers are now saying that there is evidence of greenhouse gas emissions going down this year. According to their paper, which was published in Nature Climate Change, this year’s emissions decreased by .6 percent versus last year’s statistics.
This is one of the first times that we have seen global numbers decrease over the course of an entire year.
Greenhouse gasses causes heat to get trapped in the atmosphere, aggravating climate change. The results are surprising because, when global economy is doing well, greenhouse emissions tend to go up due to the increase in industrialization. On the flipside, when the economy dips, emissions improve.
However, this year, despite the economy maintaining its strength, emissions declined, which can be credited to stricter implementation of regulations, stronger focus on renewable energy sources, and more efficient forms of transportation.
For a bit more background on climate change, watch “Why I Must Speak About Climate Change,” a TedTalk given by climate scientists James Hansen.
A .6 dip may not seem significant, but the decline comes after a long upwards climb and was observed in various areas around the world, including numerous European Union nations, the United States, and China—the largest contributor to the decline.
Clearly, the world is doing something right by way of the environment, but it’s not enough.
In the study, the researchers also emphasize that 2015 also happens to be the warmest year recorded. This year also sees the highest amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. India has also been cited as a country that recorded an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
So although we are making some improvements, we still have work to do.