Charting climate change: 7 graphs that tell the story


The BBC will launch a year of special coverage on the subject of climate change, called the ‘Our Climate Matters project’ presented via global digital, TV and radio channels. 

Climate change is set to cause major changes across the world. To help us visualise problem, the BBC has produced seven interactive charts that highlight the following key points.

  1. The world is getter hotter –
    • The last 22 years have been the warmest on record – the top four being 2015-2019


  1. 2019 was a record-breaking year –
    • Almost 400 all-time high temperatures were set
    • Records set across 29 countries between May and August
    • 1/3 of the all-time high temperatures in Germany, France and the Netherlands
  1. We are not on track to meet climate change targets –
    • Countries signing up to the Paris agreement pledged to keep temperatures “well below 2C above pre-industrial levels”
    • Scientists now agree that we actually need to keep temperature rises to below 1.5C
  1. Who are the biggest emitters?
    • China and the US account for more than 40% of the global total
  1. The threat is worse for the fastest growing cities-
    • 95% of cities facing extreme climate risks are in Africa or Asia
    • Megacities like Lagos in Nigeria and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo are most at risk
  1. Arctic sea ice reduction is accelerating –
    • The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in the summer as soon as the 2050s
  1. We can all do more to help – here are some of the small changes we can all make:
    • buy less meat, milk, cheese and butter
    • eat more locally sourced seasonal food – and throw less of it away
    • drive electric cars but walk or cycle short distances
    • take trains and buses instead of planes
    • use videoconferencing instead of business travel
    • use a washing line instead of a tumble dryer
    • insulate homes; demand low carbon in every consumer product.

Source and further reading
BBC News – Seven Charts
Our Planet Matters Project

Photo by William Bossen on Unsplash

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