BERLIN - MARCH 23:  Exhaust plumes from the main chimneys of the black coal-fired power plant Heizkraftwerk Reuter West March 23, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is still heavily dependant on coal for much of its electric power production, though the country is pushing an aggressive policy of CO2 emissions reductions.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BERLIN – MARCH 23: Exhaust plumes from the main chimneys of the black coal-fired power plant Heizkraftwerk Reuter West March 23, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is still heavily dependant on coal for much of its electric power production, though the country is pushing an aggressive policy of CO2 emissions reductions. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to increase every year, threatening our environment. 2012 was no different as emissions reached new highs according to a Huffington Postarticle written by Tom Miles.

Efforts to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius are becoming increasingly difficult. As quoted in the article, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said that if the world pursues its ‘business as usual’ trajectory, it will probably hit the 2 degree mark in the middle of the century affecting the water cycle, sea levels and extreme weather events.

“The more we wait for action, the more difficult it will be to stay under this limit and the more the impact will be for many countries, and therefore the more difficult it will be to adapt,” said Jarraud.

As it stands today, emissions will be 8-12 billion tons higher in 2020 than the level needed to stay below the 2 degree mark. “Even if we were able to stop today – we know it’s not possible – the ocean would continue to warm and to expand and the sea level would continue to rise for hundreds of years,” said Jarraud.

Miles also highlighted Jarraud’s point that this increase is mostly due to human activity, stressing that we must take action now or else we will be dealing with consequences for a very long time. What we do now will determine the environmental quality for our future generations.