The longer we wait to mitigate the detrimental levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) thrown into the atmosphere, the harder it’s going to be to work against rising temperatures, according to a leaked draft report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cited by various media in the last two days.

A CNN article says that “climate experts have modeled a variety of scenarios of how atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will affect global temperature changes. If in 2100 the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are between 430 and 480 parts per million, the global temperature change, as compared to the mid-1800s, will be likely to stay below 2 degrees Celsius, according to a chart in the report.

A greater temperature change becomes more likely if carbon dioxide levels exceed 530 ppm by 2100.”

Levels of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere reached over 400 ppm in May 2012. 

The CNN article goes on to cite a leaked copy of the IPCC report as saying: “Delaying mitigation through 2030 will increase the challenges of, and reduce the options for, bringing atmospheric concentration levels to 530 ppm” or lower by the end of the century.”

Read more here: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/17/world/climate-change-un-report/