Branden Camp / AP

Earth has a climate conundrum: the amount of carbon dioxide released globally each year has, for the most part, stopped increasing.

  • But for some reason, CO2 has continued to build up in the atmosphere at a fast pace, reports the New York Times. In 2015 and 2016, amounts of excess CO2 in the air increased at a faster rate than any previous year. It slowed in 2017, but the rate of increase is still above average.
  • What's happening: Unclear. Although nations are still pumping out high levels of CO2 and greenhouse gases, it's less than in previous years. Some researchers think that something could be happening to the carbon "sinks" like the ocean and forest, which help store excess carbon and curb warming.
  • Why it matters: If carbon sinks are in trouble, levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases could continue to rise, even as emissions rates continue to drop.

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Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 12,984,811 — Total deaths: 570,375 — Total recoveries — 7,154,492Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 3,327,388— Total deaths: 135,379 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for the foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Politics: Mick Mulvaney: "We still have a testing problem in this country."

Cuomo: New York will use formula to determine if it's safe to reopen schools

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that schools will only reopen if they meet scientific criteria that show the coronavirus is under control in their region, including a daily infection rate of below 5% over a 14-day average. "We're not going to use our children as guinea pigs," he added.

The big picture: Cuomo's insistence that New York will rely on data to decide whether to reopen schools comes as President Trump and his administration continue an aggressive push to get kids back in the classroom as part of their efforts to juice the economy.

WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" in near future

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday that "there will be no return to the 'old normal' for the foreseeable future," but that there is a "roadmap" for struggling countries to get the virus under control.

Why it matters: A record 230,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the WHO on Sunday, as total infections approach 13 million worldwide.