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If the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, global warming will rise 2 degrees Celsius by 2036, crossing a threshold that many scientists think will hurt all aspects of human civilization: food, water, health, energy, economy and national security. In my article "False Hope" in the April 2014 Scientific American, I reveal dramatic curves that show why the world will reach this temperature limit so quickly, and also why the recent slowdown in the rate of temperature increase, if it continues, will only buy us another 10 years.

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