Statistics and facts on global climate change
by Isabel Wagner
In 2012, the Earth’s surface temperature
was around 0.58 Celsius degrees warmer than the 20th century average. The global anomaly in surface temperature might be the cause of an increase in sea level, a decrease in arctic ice
and the growing number of weather-related catastrophes, including storms, floods and droughts. The economic loss due to the 2012 drought in the United States
reached around 20 billion U.S. dollars, making it the country’s most costly drought in history.
In November 2013, Warsaw hosted the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations' Framework Conference on Climate Change. The objective of the annual conference is to tackle climate change, stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and to reach a post-Kyoto Protocol agreement. The Kyoto Protocol was initially adopted in 1997, when global energy-related CO2 emissions
stood at around 24.4 billion metric tons. In 2012, this figure was significantly higher: about 34.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted worldwide. China
is currently the largest producer of CO2 emissions.
In order to reduce the production of carbon dioxide, several countries have started issuing tradable green certificates. In 2012, the global carbon market
is projected to reach a value of around 85 billion U.S. dollars. The increase in energy generation from renewable energy sources
is seen as another way to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.
Photo: sxc.hu / barunpatro, iprole