May 26, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

2015, The Year of Climate Change―And Doing Something About It

Jan 13, 2015 04:32 PM EST

Last year, 2014, was undoubtedly the year of "climate change", where environmental activists and international groups took the public stage to encourage an end to fossil fuels emissions and presented alternatives to the United Nations and the public press. But even as things heated up, climatologists and politicians alike looked towards 2015 as the year of serious change, both  of humans and of the Earth itself. In fact, it even has papal support, as Pope Francisco made the change a spiritually transcending mission-and the Earth can use all the help it can get.

Given current estimations and number-crunches, we're expected to see a drastic, likely catastrophic rise in greenhouse gas emissions within the next half-century, particularly in carbon dioxide. To put these numbers into perspective, this past year alone the human race produced roughly 30 gigatons-yes, that's 30,000,000,000 tons of heat-trapping gas-in the year 2014. If current trends are to follow suit without drastic change, that number could rise nearly three-fold by 2060. 90,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide could, theoretically speaking, be released into our already perspiring atmosphere in 2060 alone, and researchers are saying the consequences would be unbelievable to many species, including ourselves.

This upward trend of CO2 emissions is further red-flagged when coupling in the fact that, in the past twenty-years alone, 14 of the warmest years recorded have been documented since the invention of the thermostat was utilized nearly 130 years ago.

And, in the wake of imminent natural disasters-the UK recently experienced its worst flood in over 60 years-200 countries will gather at a summit conference in Paris, France to begin brainstorming climate policy,  in hopes of bringing change. 

The topic most on the forefront is establishing a country-by-country "carbon quota," capping-off carbon-heavy practices from over-baring our shared atmosphere. Current analyses point towards a possible five-centigrade rise in global temperatures by the end of this century, a catastrophic shift in the global climate. The UN is now stressing to aim for mitigation practices that would lead to less drastic changes, with a two-degree-centigrade increase being the ball parked figure.

But, the issue of climate change has even managed to jump the diplomacy, landing into a bit of holy water. Pope Francisco himself has declared climate change to be a world issue that needs to be addressed by the Catholic Church, as well. 

"The anticipation around Pope Francis's forthcoming encyclical is unprecedented," head of advocacy at the Catholic development agency, Neil Thorns says. "We have seen thousands of our supporters commit to making sure their MPs know climate change is affecting the poorest communities."

Alongside the Summit Conference at Paris, copious other international meetings have already been calendared for 2015, all  of which are centering around climate change and controlling greenhouse gas production. Hopefully together politicians, environmentalists and men of the clothe may be able to find a solution that will ring in an era of cooler climates, rather than raging heat.

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