If you’re like me, you probably get confused about global warming. Here is a chart just telling you how scientists measure climate change, where we have been and where we need to go. Climate change is real and it’s terrifying. Click on the map to enlarge. You can also see the actual map here.
1. Temperature – Since 1901, the average surface temperature across the United States has risen at an average rate of 0.14°F per decade.
2. Air Concentration – Before the industrial era began in the late 1700s, carbon dioxide concentrations measured approximately 280 ppm. Concentrations have risen steadily since then, reaching an annual average of 394 ppm in 2012—a 41% increase. Almost all of this increase is due to human activities.
3a. Yearly Carbon Dioxide Emissions – The annual mean rate of growth of CO2 in a given year is the difference in concentration between the end of December and the start of January of that year. It represents the sum of all CO2 added to, and removed from, the atmosphere during the year by human activities and by natural processes. Want to know the atmospheric levels for this month? Check out this site for monthly updates.
3b. Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions – Since 1751 approximately 337 billion metric tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere from the consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Half of these emissions have occurred since the mid 1970s. The 2007 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 8365 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 1.7% increase from 2006.