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The decrease of Arctic sea ice, minimum extent in 1982 and 2007, and climate projections The decrease of Arctic sea ice, minimum extent in 1982 and 2007, and climate projections
Sattelite observations of the september extent of sea ice in the Arctic shows in 2007 shows a 23% decrease from the previous minimum, in 2005, and 39% below the average minimum extent for the time period 1979-2000. The bottom part of this graphic shows the development according to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and the merging of five global climate models - the resultant projections shows sucessive decreases for this century. The Ar...
01 Dec 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Number of trees planted, world map - UNEP Billion Tree Campaign, May 2008 Number of trees planted, world map - UNEP Billion Tree Campaign, May 2008
The UNEP Billion Tree Campaign represents a unique worldwide tree planting initiative, aimed at empowering citizens to corporations and people up to presidents to embrace the climate change challenge. By 2008, 18 months since the launch of the initiative, the campaign has managed to catalyze the planting of two billion trees, double its original target. The campaign, spearheaded by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Agroforestry Ce...
28 Sep 2005 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Plankton distribution changes, due to climate changes - North Sea Plankton distribution changes, due to climate changes - North Sea
With melting sea ice and warming of the oceans, marine species change their distributions, affecting entire food chains and ocean productivity. In 2005 the subtropical dinoflagellate Ceratium hexacanthum was found in CPR samples from the North Sea at levels that were 6 standard deviations above previous measurements since 1958. Further evidence of this warning signal is seen in the appearance of a Pacific planktonic plant (a diatom Neodenticula s...
01 Feb 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Trends in natural disasters Trends in natural disasters
With growing population and infrastructures the world’s exposure to natural hazards is inevitably increasing. This is particularly true as the strongest population growth is located in coastal areas (with greater exposure to floods, cyclones and tidal waves). To make matters worse any land remaining available for urban growth is generally risk-prone, for instance flood plains or steep slopes subject to landslides. The statistics in this graphic r...
29 Nov 2007 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Tropical sea temperature rises and coral reefs - climate change scenarios Tropical sea temperature rises and coral reefs - climate change scenarios
The impacts of coral reefs from rising sea temperatures. When coral reefs become heat-exposed they die, leaving the white dead coral, also known as bleaching. With even moderate pollution, the coral are easily overgrown with algae, or broken down by wave activity or storms, leaving only “coral rubble” on the ocean bed.
01 Feb 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of greenhouse gases in Norway, 1985-1996 Emissions of greenhouse gases in Norway, 1985-1996
The graph shows the total emission of 6 major greenhouse gases in Norway from 1985 to 1996 with projections to 2010. Greenhouse gases are largely produced through human activities including industrial processes, fossil fuel combustion, and changes in land use, such as deforestation.
06 Nov 2006 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of CO2 in Norway, 85-95 Emissions of CO2 in Norway, 85-95
The graph shows emissions of CO2 in Norway from 1985 to 1995 and estimates future emissions from 1995 to 2010. CO2 can be created by use of fossil fuel, by land-use convertion, combustion or cement production.
12 Feb 2006 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of greenhouse gases in Norway, C2F4 and C2F6 85-96 Emissions of greenhouse gases in Norway, C2F4 and C2F6 85-96
The graphic shows emissions of C2F4 and C2F6 in CO2 equivalents in Norway from 1985 to 1996. C2F4 and C2F6 are primarily results of the production process of alumunium. Their atmospheric lifetime is estimated to be around 50 000 years.
12 Feb 2006 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of HFC in CO2 equivalents in Norway, 85-96 Emissions of HFC in CO2 equivalents in Norway, 85-96
The graphic shows Emissions of HFC in CO2 equivalents in Norway from 1985 to 1996 with projections to 2010. HFCs are among the most important greenhouse gases and are covered under the Kyoto protocol. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC's) do not harm or breakdown the ozone molecule, but they do trap heat in the atmosphere, making it a greenhouse gas, aiding in global warming. HFC’s are used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
12 Feb 2006 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions of SF6 in Norway, 85-96 Emissions of SF6 in Norway, 85-96
The graph shows emissions of SF6 in Norway from 1985 to 1996.SF6 is a highly potent greenhouse gas used in the industry for insulation in high voltage equipment and current interruption in electric transmission and distribution equipment.
12 Feb 2006 - by 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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Main greenhouse gases Main greenhouse gases
The table lists some of the main greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide, methane, and freons) and their concentrations in pre-industrial times and in 1994; atmospheric lifetimes; anthropogenic sources; and Global Warming Potential. Greenhouse gases are a key factor in global warming, as they trap the radiating heat in the atmosphere, reflecting it back to the atmosphere.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (1959-1998) CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (1959-1998)
CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have been measured at an altitude of about 4,000 meters on the peak of Mauna Loa mountain in Hawaii since 1958. The measurements at this location, remote from local sources of pollution, have clearly shown that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are increasing. The mean concentration of approximately 316 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in 1958 rose to approximately 369 ppmv in 1998. The annual variation is d...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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World ocean thermohaline circulation World ocean thermohaline circulation
The global conveyor belt thermohaline circulation is driven primarily by the formation and sinking of deep water (from around 1500m to the Antarctic bottom water overlying the bottom of the ocean) in the Norwegian Sea. When the strength of the haline forcing increases due to excess precipitation, runoff, or ice melt the conveyor belt will weaken or even shut down. The variability in the strength of the conveyor belt will lead to climate change in...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea
Recent research by the Caspian Environment Programme estimates the number of living seals to be as low as 150,000. A further reduction in ice cover due to a warming climate could well be one of the major threats facing the Caspian seal in the future.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ice cover on the North Caspian Sea Ice cover on the North Caspian Sea
Higher winter temperatures, possibly related to changes in global climate observed in recent years, have caused thinner ice coverage and restricted the traditional reproduction grounds of the Caspian seal in the shallow waters of the northern Caspian.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Emissions and energy scenarios by source Emissions and energy scenarios by source
Despite the Kyoto protocol and increased concern over the consequences of climate change, world wide emissions of CO2 continues to grow. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) world total CO2 emissions will increase by 62% from 2002 – 2030. More than two-thirds of the increase will come from developing countries. They will overtake the OECD as the leading contributor to global emissions early in the 2020s. Despite the strong increase ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Global costs of extreme weather events Global costs of extreme weather events
The loss data on great natural disasters in the last decades show a dramatic increase in catastrophe losses. A decade comparison since 1960 is shown in the table. The reasons for this development are manifold and encompass the increase in world population and the simultaneous concentration of people and values in large conurbations, the development of highly exposed regions and the high vulnerability of modern societies and technologies, and fina...
17 May 2005 - by Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kyoto protocol, timeline and history Kyoto protocol, timeline and history
The Kyoto Protocol In 1997 world leaders adopted the Kyoto Protocol requiring rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2% below the 1990 level, calculated as an average over the period 2008-2012. Under the Kyoto Protocol the rich countries have different targets, that in sum adds up to a reduction of 5.2%. For example, the European Union aims for an 8% cut in total, Germany committed to a 21% cut and the United Kingdom to 12.5...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperature trends (1976 - 2000) Temperature trends (1976 - 2000)
Over the 20th century there has been a consistent, large-scale warming of both the land and ocean surface, with largest increases in temperature over the midand high latitudes of northern continents. This graphic shows the temperature changes across the planet from the years 1976 to 2000, as long-term deviations from the expected mean. The higher temperature increases over land surface - compared to ocean surface - is consistent with the observed...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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