Continued emissions could reach a tipping point that will drive the planet into an irreversible, self-reinforcing hothouse state
Achieving “cut through” is a nightmare for climate change science. It’s notoriously hard to get the mainstream engaged by changes in the concentration of an atmospheric gas, even if they’re life-or-death matters. So hats off to the crack team of Earth scientists, led by climate change professor Will Steffen, whose peer-reviewed report on how emissions are driving the Earth into an irreversible hothouse state has been downloaded more than 270,000 times to date.
Wow. Academics are on holiday, so this means that people are probably reading this stuff on the beach. At this rate, the report could make the Altmetric Top 100. This is the list of the most discussed journal articles of the year and is usually dominated by research on grabby subjects such as the possibility of life on other planets, but definitely not emissions-generated feedback loops. Until now.