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11 charts that will help you understand climate change

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Shrink That Footprint

Every year a disparate collection of 88 wonks from 68 organisation in 12 countries work tirelessly to produce the Global Carbon Budget.

I think of it as a high powered pictured book alternative for anyone who can’t stomach the IPCC’s summary for policy makers (or just wants the data).

Here are 11 of the most thought provoking charts from this years report:

1) Carbon emissions are still going up

fig_06_FossilFuel_and_Cement_emissions_300-550x392
Another 2.3% in 2013 with projections that it will rise a further 2.5% in 2014.

2) Coal is the major source of growth

fig_33_Coal_Oil_Gas_Cement_300-550x392

Coal was responsible for 59% of emissions growth in 2013, oil was 18%, gas 10%, and cement 12%.

 3) China’s emissions just keep going (and going)

fig_19_NG2a_Top_FF_emitters_abs_with_projection_300-550x392

Most emissions growth occurred in China.  In per capita terms its terrestrial emissions now exceed Europe

4) But in historical terms the US and EU still dominate

fig_37_Cumulative_by_country_300-550x392

Over the 1870-2013 periods cumalative emissions from the major emitters were the USA (26%), EU28 (23%), China (11%), and India (3%).

5) And China emits a lot making goods for the EU and US

fig_10_prodcons_topN_300-550x393

The EU and US have outsourced significant industrial emissions overseas, particularly to China.

6) At this rate the 2C carbon budget will be blown in decades

fig_22_NG_RemainingQuota_300-550x392

If emissions continue to grow we will blow through the total 2°C carbon budget in before 2040.

7) If we keep this up its going to get really hot

fig_07_NCC_Fuss1a_AR5scenarios_300-550x363

 

Our current emissions growth is on the pathway that expects the world to warm by 3.2°C to 5.4°C by the end of the century.

8) We need to keep most fossil fuels in ground

fig_26_NCC_sharing_world_300-550x392

To have a chance at 2C around 2/3 of current reserves need to stay in the earth.

9) Mitigation needs to occur at unprecedented rates

fig_25_NCC3a_MitigationRates_300-550x392

The best historical mitigation rates are about 4% during European nuclear switches.  So these look unlikely to say the least.

10) Declining deforestation is the only success story

fig_48_FF_emissions_and_LandUse_change_300-550x392

Land use emission have declined since 1990s (the spike is the Indonesian peat fires).

11) And the ocean and terrestrial sinks

fig_53_ESSDD04_budget_timeseries_300-550x392

The ocean and land sinks continue to soak up an incredible amount of carbon as fertilization trumps saturation.  Without them atmospheric CO2 would already be up around 540ppm (its currently 397).

Without them it would probably be 2C warmer already.
Source: Shrink That Footprint. Reproduced with permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • johnnewton

    Could you send this to Rhyming Slang Hunt please Giles?