Everything you need to know about global warming

24 Cards

CURATED BY Brad Plumer

2014-05-29 20:22:52 -0400

  1. What is global warming?
  2. Is global warming the same thing as climate change?
  3. How do we know global warming is really happening?
  4. How do we know humans are responsible for global warming?
  5. Where do greenhouse-gas emissions come from?
  6. How has global warming affected the world so far?
  7. How high will temperatures rise if global warming continues?
  8. What impacts will global warming have in the future?
  9. What is sea-level rise?
  10. What is ocean acidification?
  11. Is it dangerous to have more than 2°C of global warming?
  12. What happens if the world heats up more drastically — say, 4°C?
  13. How much could global warming cost the economy?
  14. How do we stop global warming?
  15. How do we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions?
  16. Can't we just adapt to global warming?
  17. What are the UN climate talks?
  18. What is geoengineering?
  19. Did climate change cause today’s awful weather?
  20. What is climate skepticism?
  21. It’s cold outside! Does that disprove global warming?
  22. Hasn't global warming slowed down in the last 15 years?
  23. You didn't answer my question!
  24. What else should I be reading about global warming?
  1. Card 1 of 24

    What is global warming?

  2. Card 2 of 24

    Is global warming the same thing as climate change?

  3. Card 3 of 24

    How do we know global warming is really happening?

  4. Card 4 of 24

    How do we know humans are responsible for global warming?

  5. Card 5 of 24

    Where do greenhouse-gas emissions come from?

  6. Card 6 of 24

    How has global warming affected the world so far?

  7. Card 7 of 24

    How high will temperatures rise if global warming continues?

  8. Card 8 of 24

    What impacts will global warming have in the future?

  9. Card 9 of 24

    What is sea-level rise?

  10. Card 10 of 24

    What is ocean acidification?

  11. Card 11 of 24

    Is it dangerous to have more than 2°C of global warming?

  12. Card 12 of 24

    What happens if the world heats up more drastically — say, 4°C?

  13. Card 13 of 24

    How much could global warming cost the economy?

  14. Card 14 of 24

    How do we stop global warming?

  15. Card 15 of 24

    How do we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions?

    There are a few big ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. We could use less energy (either by becoming more energy-efficient or by conserving). We could switch to cleaner sources of energy. We could also reduce emissions from deforestation and agriculture.

    But avoiding a 2°C rise in global temperatures — the ostensible goal of most countries — would require reducing worldwide emissions 40 to 70 percent by mid-century. That's a huge shift. To get things started, the International Energy Agency has argued that such a cut would require $24 trillion in clean energy investments between now and 2020 (and more thereafter). That would include:

    • Each year, on average, 15 power plants and industrial facilities would have to be fitted with technology to capture carbon emissions and store it underground rather than emit it into the atmosphere. (This technology, known as CCS, is still in its infancy.)
    • On average, 32 new nuclear plants and 17,500 wind turbines would need to be built each year to provide carbon-free electricity.
    • The world would need to make its transportation sector much more efficient between now and 2020. That means lighter vehicles, putting 20 million electric cars on the road, and more efficient airplanes. Buildings and factories would also need to become dramatically more efficient at using energy.

    Here's what this looks like in graph form:

    Abatement__1_

    International Energy Agency

    There are ways to tweak this. If countries don't want to deal with nuclear power, then they'd need to ramp up some other clean energy source. If carbon-capture technology doesn't work, then something else will have to supplant it. The basic point is that it's a huge task.

    Currently, the International Energy Agency says the world is not currently on track to meet those goals.

  16. Card 16 of 24

    Can't we just adapt to global warming?

  17. Card 17 of 24

    What are the UN climate talks?

  18. Card 18 of 24

    What is geoengineering?

  19. Card 19 of 24

    Did climate change cause today’s awful weather?

  20. Card 20 of 24

    What is climate skepticism?

  21. Card 21 of 24

    It’s cold outside! Does that disprove global warming?

  22. Card 22 of 24

    Hasn't global warming slowed down in the last 15 years?

  23. Card 23 of 24

    You didn't answer my question!

  24. Card 24 of 24

    What else should I be reading about global warming?

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