Eight hundred tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) are dumped into the atmosphere every second. There has been a progressive rise in the CO2 content of the atmosphere, from 270 ppm in the pre-industrial era to more than 380 ppm now, rising by 15 ppm/decade. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that this is having a large effect on climate, and that as a result the Earth’s temperature will rise by 2°C or more before 2100 [1]. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, the biosphere and human health will all be affected, though not all the impacts are negative. The level of the sea will rise by between 0.5 and 1 m, and there is a possibility of a much greater and catastrophic rise if warming should lead to a collapse of the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets.

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