Whether or not you believe climate change is happening from natural causes or from human causation, data shows that global temperatures have been increasing in a steady trend. While climate change itself is a natural phenomenon and the Earth goes through warming and cooling periods, most scientists suggest that the rate at which the temperatures are rising is not normal. Many consequences have risen as a result such as acidification of the ocean (leading to disruption and death of ecosystems such as coral reefs), ocean water rising (causing flooding and devastation to islands and coasts such as the Maldives and cities in Florida. In addition, this sporadic warmer climate has lead ice caps and glaciers to melt at astonishing rates. This lack of ice cap coverage disrupts something known as the Albedo effect in which the sun’s rays reflect off the white surface and will no longer be absorbed as heat, thus helping to regulate temperature.
The following charts show a snapshot of who emits the most CO2 (more CO2 in the atmosphere keeps heat in), trends of global temperatures in the last 17 years, and who is investing the most in just one of many options for renewable energy sources (wind).
Figure One: CO2 Emissions Per Capita
Figure Two: Mean Global Temperatures
Figure Three: Wind Power Investments