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Scientists have been measuring atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases for decades. They know how much average levels are rising worldwide, and they know that burning of fossil fuels is the main driver. It’s when they try to apportion the blame more precisely — How much are specific industries and companies emitting? In which countries? — that things get complicated.

“The whole future of our ability to address climate change, and to avoid the most dangerous effects, hinges on our ability to have solid data,” said Angel Hsu, an environmental policy expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We need to be able to measure things so we can manage them.”

The New York Times