The debate surrounding global warming and climate change is a heated one, and both sides -- those who believe climate change is caused by humans and those who don't -- firmly believe they're in the right. Today, the former group got an extra piece of evidence to bolster their claims, courtesy of a new research paper published in Nature.
The paper, which was put together by a multi-cultural team of Chinese and American scientists, states that the world is already on track to miss the CO2 emissions goals laid out by the infamous Paris treaty, which aims to limit temperature rises to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Unfortunately, existing power plants and those whose construction plans have already been finalized are expected to generate "two thirds" of the CO2 needed for the world to see a temperature rise of up to 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit); which obviously exceeds the previously-stated goals.
This essentially means that, even if the world never built another power plant (aside from the already-finalized plans mentioned before) or gas-powered vehicle, rising temperatures will be unavoidable unless many current natural gas, coal, or petroleum facilities are shut down.
According to researchers, the world's infrastructure -- if "operated as historically" -- will produce roughly 658 gigatons of CO2 during their lifetimes. To break that number down further, "more than half" of those emissions come from electricity generation: 41 percent comes from China, 9 percent comes from the US, and 7 percent comes from the European Union (57 percent total).
It remains to be seen whether or not these figures and predictions will prove accurate, but hopefully, the world won't have to find out the hard way.