We are already experiencing changes in climate. And we all need to do something about it.
But how much do you know about climate change?
Test your knowledge with these questions.
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1. What is climate change?
Climate change is a change in the average weather –temperature, precipitation and wind– over a over period of time, usually 30 years. Although weather can change in just a few hours, the climate takes longer to change.
2. Why is the climate changing?
The climate is changing due to increasing GHG emissions from energy generation, mainly produced from fossil fuels. Also contributing are deforestation and wildfires, as well as agricultural production, including rice cultivation and livestock production.
3. What GHG contributes the most to climate change?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for 76% of all GHG emissions: 65% due to fossil fuel burning to generate energy and 11% due to land use changes, such as deforestation, land-use management, agriculture, forest fires, among others.
4. What is the largest source of global CO2 emissions?
Electricity and heat generation is the largest source, accounting for 42% of the global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. Transportation is the second largest source, with about 25%.
5. What energy source produces zero CO2 emissions?
Wind, solar and nuclear do not produce CO2 emissions. Wind and solar are renewable sources of energy, while nuclear energy does not burn fossil fuels.
6. Which U.S. President said "We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it”?
President Barack Obama said "We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it,” during his remarks at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014.
7. What does an increase in global temperature of 2ºC (3.6ºF) above pre-industrial times mean?
An increase in global temperature of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times means that the risks and negative impacts of climate change would increase rapidly. That is why the Paris Agreement set the 2 degrees Celsius temperature target as its goal.
8. How much has global temperature already increased above pre-industrial times?
Global average temperature was 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times in 2017, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
9. When would global temperature reach 1.5ºC (2.7ºF) above pre-industrial times?
Global average temperature would reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by 2030, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5 Degrees.
10. When would global temperature reach 2ºC (3.6ºF) above pre-industrial times?
Global average temperature would reach 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as reflected in our report The Truth About Climate Change.
11. How many parties to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change have ratified it?
Of the 195 Parties to the Paris Agreement, 184 have ratified it as of November 4, 2018, according to the Climate Change Convention Secretariat.
12. Which two countries were the last to join the Paris Agreement?
Nicaragua and Syria were the latest two countries to join and ratify Paris Agreement in October and November, 2017, respectively.
13. What is a major weakness of the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement establishes a ‘pledge and review’ system, based on pledges to combat climate change submitted by all countries –the Nationally Determined Contributions—to be reviewed every five years. These pledges are not legally binding.
14. What nation is the world’s leading emitter of CO2?
China is the world’s largest emitter of CO2, accounting for 28% of global emissions, followed by the U.S., with 15%, according to the Global Carbon Atlas (2016).
15. What country is the largest emitter of CO2 per capita?
Curacao has the highest CO2 emissions per capita, followed by Qatar, according to the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (2016)
16. From the impacts of human-induced climate change, what causes the most damage and economic losses?
Hurricanes cause the most damage and economic losses. For example, in the Unites States, hurricanes (or tropical cyclones) caused, on average, $46 billion in economic losses each, according to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
17. What state in the U.S. has suffered the most devastating effects of climate change in the last decade?
Texas suffered 54 extreme weather events influenced by human-induced climate change in the last decade: 39 severe storms, one hurricane, 4 major flooding, as well as 6 droughts and 4 wildfires. These events caused $307 billion in economic losses in Texas, according to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
18. What are the chances of avoiding global warming above 2ºC (3.6ºF)?
Holding global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius is possible only if countries work together to reduce CO2 emissions.
19. What percentage of the world's energy is produced by fossil fuels?
80% of the energy (electricity, fuel and natural gas) in the world is produced by fossil fuels, burning 26% of coal, 33% of oil and 22% of natural gas, according to the International Energy Agency.
20. What is the best option to control climate change?
The best option to control climate change is to reduce and remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Reducing CO2 emissions is critical, but removing CO2 through capturing and storing carbon is crucial too, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
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