The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Scientists thought carbon emissions had peaked. They've never been higher.

By Shannon Osaka

05 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The Washington Post provides an interesting investigation into why researchers were wrong about emissions peaking — and what it means for our future.

Near the end of 2020, as the covid-19 pandemic continued to rage, a few climate scientists and energy experts made a prediction. They estimated that emissions from fossil fuels - which had just plummeted thanks to the global pandemic - might never again reach the heights of 2019. Perhaps, they speculated, after over a century of ever more carbon dioxide flowing into the atmosphere, the world had finally reached "peak" emissions.

They were wrong.

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