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Collection: Vital Climate Graphics

Vital Climate GraphicsVital Climate Graphics
UNEP has been active in disseminating information for decision-making and promoting awareness of climate change. In cooperation with the Convention's secretariat, UNEP is taking action to promote the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention, which addresses public awareness, education and training. As part of this effort, UNEP's Global Resources Information Database (GRID) office in Arendal conceived an idea to develop an information package called Vital Climate Graphics. This first set of graphics focuses on the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change. The graphics are based primarily on the IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR), especially the contribution of Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change and on the IPCC Special Report on Regional Impacts of Climate Change. It is our hope that these Vital Climate Graphics find a wide and receptive audience.
Available online at: http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/climate
Cooling factors Cooling factors
The amount of aerosols in the air has direct effect on the amount of solar radiation hitting the Earth's surface. Aerosols may have significant local or regional impact on temperature. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but at the same time the upper white surface of clouds reflects solar radiation back into space. Albedo - reflections of solar radiation from surfaces on the Earth - creates difficulties in exact calculations. If e.g. the polar ice...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global atmospheric concentration of CO2 Global atmospheric concentration of CO2
Atmospheric CO2 has increased from a pre-industrial concentration of about 280 ppmv to about 367 ppmv at present (ppmv= parts per million by volume). CO2 concentration data from before 1958 are from ice core measurements taken in Antarctica and from 1958 onwards are from the Mauna Loa measurement site. The smooth curve is based on a hundred year running mean. It is evident that the rapid increase in CO2 concentrations has been occurring since the...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Freshwater stress Freshwater stress
Today, the great pressure on water resources is rising human populations, particularly growing concentrations in urban areas. This diagram shows the impact of expected population growth on water usage by 2025, based on the UN mid-range population projection. It uses the current rate of water use per person without taking into account possible increases in water use due to economic growth or improvements in water use efficiency. The regions most v...
07 Nov 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Planets and atmospheres Planets and atmospheres
A planet's climate is decided by its mass, its distance from the sun and the composition of its atmosphere. Mars is too small to keep a thick atmosphere. Its atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide, but the atmosphere is very thin. The atmosphere of the Earth is a hundred times thicker.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential dengue transmission in case of temperature rise Potential dengue transmission in case of temperature rise
A warmer climate increases occasions of vector borne tropical diseases. This figure depicts weeks of potential dengue transmission under current temperature and 2°C and 4 °C warming. Presence of dengue virus, mosquito vector, and exposed human populations are required for disease transmission.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Forest composition case study in North America Forest composition case study in North America
Current and projected Ranges of Beech Trees in the US. A warmer climate may have significant effect on the forests. Decidous forests will probably move northwards and to higher altitudes, replacing coniferous forests in many areas. Some tree species will probably be replaced altogether, jeopardizing biological diversity in several places.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sources of greenhouse gases Sources of greenhouse gases
Shows the sources for greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change, and their relative radiative forcing effect (radiative forcing is the change in the balance between radiation coming into the atmosphere and radiation going out)
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of CO2 - selected countries (1995) Emissions of CO2 - selected countries (1995)
The rich countries of the world historically have emitted most of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases since the start of the industrial revolution in the latter half of the 1700s. Per capita, the significant emissions still are produced by the OECD countries.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Great weather and flood catastrophes over the last forty years Great weather and flood catastrophes over the last forty years
Some reports suggest that increase in climate variability or extremes has taken place in recent decades. However, there are inadequate data to determine whether such global changes have occurred consistently over the 20th century. On regional scales there is clear evidence of changes in some extremes and climate variability indicators - for example, fewer frosts in several widespread areas; and an increase in the proportion of rainfall from extr...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Convention is the foundation of global efforts to combat global warming. Opened for signature in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, its ultimate objective is the 'stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic human-induced interference with the climate system. The Convention's supreme body is the Conference of the Parties (COP)...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Precipitation changes: trend over land from 1900 to 1994 Precipitation changes: trend over land from 1900 to 1994
Precipitation has increased over land at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, especially during the cold season. Decrease in precipitation occurred in steps after the 1960s over the subtropics and the tropics from Africa to Indonesia.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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CO2 emissions from land use change CO2 emissions from land use change
Emissions of carbon dioxide due to changes in land use mainly come from the cutting down of forests and instead using the land for agriculture or built-up areas, urbanisation, roads etc. When large areas of rain forests are cut down, the land often turns into less productive grasslands with considerably less capacity of storing CO2.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Six IPCC scenarios Six IPCC scenarios
The projection of future climate change depends partly on the assumptions made about future emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosol precursors and the proportion of emissions remaining in the atmosphere.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Malaria risk and climate change Malaria risk and climate change
Plasmodium vivax, with the Anopheles mosquito as a vector, is an organism causing malaria. The main climate factors that have bearing on the malarial transmission potential of the mosquito population are temperature and precipitation.
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Radiative forcing - energy balances and the greenhouse effect Radiative forcing - energy balances and the greenhouse effect
Radiative forcing is the change in the balance between radiation coming into the atmosphere and radiation going out. A positive radiative forcing tends on average to warm the surface of the Earth, and negative forcing tends on average to cool the surface. The figure shows estimates of the globally and annually averaged anthropogenic radiative forcing (in Wm-2) due to changes in concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols from pre-industrial t...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Climate change and vector-borne diseases Climate change and vector-borne diseases
Climate change and altered weather patters would affect the range (both altitude and latitude), intensity, and seasonality of many major tropical vector-borne and other infectious diseases - such as malaria and dengue fever.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Change in permafrost temperature in Fairbanks (Alaska) Change in permafrost temperature in Fairbanks (Alaska)
With a doubling of atmospheric CO2, it is likely that there will be increases in the thickness of the active layer permafrost and the disappearance of most of the ice-rich discontinous permafrost over a century-long time span. This figure provides a good example of changes already observed in Alaska. Widespread loss of discontinous permafrost will trigger erosion or subsidence of ice-rich landscapes, change hydrologic processes, and release CO2 ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in global temperatures Trends in global temperatures
The figure shows the combined land-surface air and sea surface temperatures (degrees Centigrade) 1861 to 1998, relative to the average temperature between 1961 and 1990. The mean global surface temperature has increased by about 0.3 to 0.6°C since the late 19th century and by about 0.2 to 0.3°C over the last 40 years, which is the period with most reliable data. Recent years have been among the warmest since 1860 - the period for which instrumen...
06 Nov 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperature trends and projections Temperature trends and projections
Using the IS92 emission scenarios, projected global mean temperature changes relative to 1990 were calculated up to 2100. Climate models calculate that the global mean surface temperature could rise by about 1 to 4.5 centigrade by 2100. The topmost curve is for IS92e, assuming constant aerosol concentrations beyond 1990 and high climate sensitivity of 4.5 °C. The lowest curve is for IS92c and assumes constant aerosol concentrations beyond 1990 an...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Scenarios of sea level rise, now - 2100 Scenarios of sea level rise, now - 2100
Using the IS92 emission scenarios, projected global mean sea level increases relative to 1990 were calculated up to 2100. Taking into account the ranges in the estimate of climate sensitivity and ice melt parameters, and the full set of IS92 emission scenarios, the models project an increase in global mean sea level of between 13 and 94 cm. During the fist half of the next century, the choice of emission scenario has relatively little effect on ...
01 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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