The planet's carbon emissions rose last year to a record 31.6 gigatons, marking a 1.4% increase, according to a new report. That puts us on track for a surge in temperature far exceeding international benchmarks—a "disaster for all countries," says the chief economist for the International Energy Agency, which released the report. Temperatures could end up 9 degrees hotter than they were the pre-industrial era.
"If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in," says Fatih Birol. China's emissions jumped 3.8%; the US, however, saw energy-related emissions fall by the same number, thanks to shifts from coal to shale gas, the Washington Post reports. (Read more climate change stories.)