Climate change: Go figure!

So, just how worried should we be? Tim Walker reduces the climate change debate to a few stark numbers

A A A


0.1-0.2°C Approximate net fluctuation in average global surface temperature in the 900-year period from 1000 to 1900





0.74°C nIncrease in average global surface temperature between 1906 and 2005

11 of the 12 hottest years recorded so far have taken place since 1995





5 of the next 10 years are expected by the Met Office to be hotter than 1998 (the hottest year on record)

1.3°C Rough estimate of the cumulative increase in global average temperature (relative to 1906 levels) that current levels of atmospheric carbon make inevitable.



2°C Usually cited by climate change scientists as maximum "safe" limit of average temperature increase (relative to 1906 levels).



6°C Likely increase in global mean temperature during the course of the 21st century if current emissions trends are continued, according to a report last month by the Global Carbon Project



7°C Likely increase in global mean temperature during the course of the 21st century, if current emissions trends are continued, according to a report last month by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

50% Probability that 2010 will be the hottest year on record, according to the Met Office.



50% Increase in wars in Africa in unusually hot years



29% Rise in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels between 2000 and 2008.

5,000 square miles of Antarctica's ice-sheet have melted in the past 50 years

4 inches Sea level rise (from 2007 level) that would flood many South Pacific islands and swamp large areas of Southeast Asia



7 inches Minimum sea level rise expected by 2100



240 inches Predicted rise of sea levels if the Greenland ice sheet were to melt in its entirety



100,000,000 Number of people living no more than 36in above average sea level

278 Atmospheric concentration of CO2, in parts per million, in 1750





315 Atmospheric concentration of CO2, in parts per million, in 1958





350 Atmospheric concentration of CO2, in parts per million, considered prudent if dangerous climate change is to be avoided

385 Atmospheric concentration of CO2 in parts per million, in 2009 (the highest level for at least 420,000 years)

2015 The date by which emissions need to start falling if we are not to pass 2°C



85% percentage by which emissions need to drop by 2050 if we are not to pass 2°C

2040 Estimated date of Arctic's first ice-free summer

The UK's legally binding targets for cutting national carbon emissions (relative to 1990 levels): 34% by 2020 80% by 2050

9.3 Tonnes per year of CO2 emitted by the average British citizen (in 2007)



4.8 Tonnes per year of CO2 emitted by the average Chinese citizen



19.9 Tonnes per year of CO2 emitted by the average US citizen



0.1 Tonnes per year of CO2 emitted by the average Ethiopian citizen

20% Estimated percentage decrease in global GDP if climate change is left unchecked (Stern Review, 2006)

1% Estimated percentage of global GDP required to curb climate change (Stern Review, 2006)

450 Number of lead authors of the IPCC 2007 Assessment Report on climate change (which concluded that the world was definitely warming, that manmade emissions were very likely to be the cause and that sea-level rises of between 7in and 23in could be expected in the 21st century)



800 Number of contributing authors to the IPCC 2007 Assessment Report on climate change

2,500 Number of scientific expert reviewers of the IPCC 2007 Assessment Report on climate change







90% Degree of certainty with which the IPCC 2007 Assessment Report stated that humanity's emissions of greenhouse gases are likely to be the cause of climate change



84% Percentage of scientists who say the Earth is warming because of human activity (Pew Research Centre survey)



49% Percentage of US citizens who say the Earth is warming because of human activity



41% Percentage of UK citizens who do not accept as established scientific fact that the Earth is warming because of human activity

45% Proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions produced by G8 countries (which represent 13 per cent of the world's population)



0.3% Percentage of the Sahara desert that would need to be turned over to solar power technology in order to supply all Europe's energy needs from the power of the sun



15,000 Officials expected to attend next week's Copenhagen summit (representing 192 nations)

564,020,000 Annual carbon emissions by the UK, in tonnes (2007)



6,283,560,000 Annual carbon emissions by China, in tonnes (2007)





6,006,710,000 Annual carbon emissions by the US, in tonnes (2007)



12.8% Percentage decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the UK since 1990 (DECC)



50% Percentage increase of greenhouse gas emissions in Spain since 1990

150 Glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park in 1910



27 Glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park in 2008



0 Predicted number of glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park in 2030 (US Geological Survey)

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Java Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

SAP Functional Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £45,000 - £55,000.

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn