Climate Change

COP26: 6 charts to help you understand climate change

at a climate protest, protesters are holding up a 1.5 degrees celsius sign, which is the temperature the world must aim for to avoid some of the worst effects of climate change

An atmospheric scientist explores the key driving forces behind climate change and the impact it's having on the planet. Image: UNSPLASH/Mika Baumeister

Betsy Weatherhead
Senior Scientist, University of Colorado Boulder
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a chart showing how how much the CO2 concentration increased each year from 1960 to 2020
Image: Chart: The Conversation/CC-BY-ND Source: NOAA Global Monitoring Lab
a chart showing how long CO2 stays in the atmosphere
How long does CO2 stay in the atmosphere? Image: Chart: The Conversation/CC-BY-ND Source: Pieter Tans

a chart showing climate history: 500 million years before the present, to the present day
When carbon dioxide levels have been high in the past, evidence shows temperatures have also been high. Image: The Conversations, Based on Salawitch et al., 2017, updated with data to the end of 2020, CC BY
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a chart showing how temperatures have risen over time around the world
Temperatures have risen over time around the world. Image: The Conversation/CC-BY-ND Source: NOAA

a chart showing how sea level has risen in coastal cities around the world
Sea levels have risen in costal cities around the world. Image: Chart: The Conversation/CC-BY-ND Source: Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level
a diagram of the earth highlighting a high-emissions scenario for climate change
Based on SSP3-7.0, a high-emissions scenario. Image: Claudia Tebaldi, et al., 2021


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Related topics:
Climate ChangeSDG 13: Climate ActionThe Net Zero TransitionFuture of the EnvironmentClimate IndicatorsClimate and Nature
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December 11, 2023

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