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GLOBAL. WARMING. Energy Balance. Energy from the Sun = energy returned to space by Earth’s radiative emission The absorption of solar radiation takes place mostly at the surface of the Earth. The emission of solar radiation to space takes place mostly in the atmosphere.

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energy balance
Energy Balance
  • Energy from the Sun = energy returned to space by Earth’s radiative emission
  • The absorption of solar radiation takes place mostly at the surface of the Earth.
  • The emission of solar radiation to space takes place mostly in the atmosphere.
  • Because its atmosphere efficiently absorbs and emits IR radiation, the surface of the Earth is much warmer than it would be in the absence of the atmosphere

(greenhouse effect)

The global energy balance is the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing heat from the Earth. The global energy balance regulates the state of the Earth's climate and modifications to it as a result of natural and man-made climate forcing cause the global climate to change.
  • Energy released from the Sun has a temperature of approximately 6000°C.

When it reaches the Earth's surface, some is reflected back to space by clouds, some is absorbed by the atmosphere, and some is absorbed at the Earth's surface.

The energy received by the Earth from the Sun balances the energy lost by the Earth back into space.

In this way, the Earth maintains a stable average temperature and therefore a stable climate (although of course differences in climate exist at different locations around the world).

The Earth atmosphere contains a number of greenhouse gases, which affect the Sun-Earth energy balance. The average global temperature is in fact 33°C higher than it should be.
  • The atmosphere is mostly transparent in the visible light (which is why we can see the Sun), but significant blocking (through absorption) of ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer and infrared radiation by greenhouse gases occurs.
The absorption of infrared radiation trying to escape from the Earth back to space is particularly important for the global energy balance. Such energy absorption by the greenhouse gases heats the atmosphere, and so the Earth stores more energy near its surface than it would if there was no atmosphere. The average surface temperature of the moon, about the same distance as the Earth from the Sun, is -18°C. The moon, of course, has no atmosphere. By contrast, the average surface temperature of the Earth is 15°C. This heating effect is called the

naturalgreenhouse effect

greenhouse effect
Greenhouse Effect
  • The Sun, which is the Earth's only external form of heat, emits solar radiation mainly in the form of shortwave visible and ultraviolet (UV) energy. As this radiation travels toward the Earth, 25% of it is absorbed by the atmosphere and 25% is reflected by the clouds back into space. The remaining radiation travels unimpeded to the Earth and heats its surface. The Earth releases a lot of energy it has received from the Sun back to space.
greenhouse effect1
Greenhouse Effect
  • Greenhouse gases like water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide trap the infrared radiation released by the Earth's surface. The atmosphere acts like the glass in a greenhouse, allowing much of the shortwave solar radiation to travel through unimpeded, but trapping a lot of the longwave heat energy trying to escape back to space. This process makes the temperature rise in the atmosphere just as it does in the greenhouse. This is the Earth's natural greenhouse effect and keeps the Earth 33°C warmer than it would be without an atmosphere, at an average . In contrast, the moon, which has no atmosphere, has an average surface temperature of .



Te = 255 K = -18 C

Observed: 288 K = +15 C !


The greenhouse effect also limits

the amplitude of the diurnal

variation in surface T over land

greenhouse effect is very important

  • Hole in the ozone layer
  • Ice melting and glacier retreat
  • Sea-level rise
  • Floods
  • Drought
  • Hurricanes, Typhoons,


  • Earthquakes?
ozone hole
Ozone Hole

For nearly a billion years, ozone molecules in the atmosphere have protected life on Earth from the effects of ultraviolet rays

ozone hole1
Ozone Hole

The ozone layer resides in the stratosphere and surrounds the entire Earth. UV-B radiation (280- to 315- nanometer (nm) wavelength) from the Sun is partially absorbed in this layer. As a result, the amount of UV-B reaching Earth’s surface is greatly reduced. UV-A (315- to 400-nm wavelength) and other solar radiation are not strongly absorbed by the ozone layer. Human exposure to UV-B increases the risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and a suppressed immune system. UV-B exposure can also damage terrestrial plant life, single cell organisms, and aquatic ecosystems.

ozone hole3
Ozone Hole

In the past 60 years or so human activity has contributed to the deterioration of the ozone layer. 

ozone hole4
Ozone Hole
  • Each spring in the stratosphere over Antarctica (Spring in the southern hemisphere is from September through November.), atmospheric ozone is rapidly destroyed by chemical processes. 
  • As winter arrives, a vortex of winds develops around the pole and isolates the polar stratosphere. When temperatures drop below -78°C (-109°F), thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on the surfaces of ice crystals in the clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears. 
  • The ozone "hole" is really a reduction in concentrations of ozone high above the earth in the stratosphere
ozone hole5
Ozone Hole
  • Man-made chlorines, primarily chloroflourobcarbons (CFCs), contribute to the thinning of the ozone layer and allow larger quantities of harmful ultraviolet rays to reach the earth.
  • The Montreal Protocol (16 Sept. 1987) stipulated that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere--chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),  halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform--were to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform). Scientific theory and evidence suggest that, once emitted to the atmosphere, these compounds could significantly deplete the stratospheric ozone layer that shields the planet from damaging UV-B radiation.
ice melting glacier retreat
Ice Melting & Glacier Retreat

The retreat of glaciers since 1850, worldwide and rapid, affects the availability of fresh water for irrigation and domestic use, mountain recreation, animals and plants that depend on glacier-melting, and in the longer term, the level of the oceans. Studied by glaciologists, the temporal coincidence of glacier retreat with the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases is often cited as an evidentiary underpinning of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. Mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Alps, Rock Mountains, Cascade Range, and the southern Andes, as well as isolated tropical summits such as Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, are showing some of the largest proportionate glacial loss

ice melting glacier retreat1
Ice Melting & Glacier Retreat
  • Until about 1940, glaciers around the world retreated as the climate warmed. Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed, in many cases, between 1950 and 1980 as a slight global cooling occurred. However, since 1980 a significant global warming has led to glacier retreat becoming increasingly rapid, so much so that some glaciers have disappeared altogether, and the existence of a great number of the remaining glaciers of the world is threatened. (eg. In locations such as the Andes of South America and Himalayas in Asia, the demise of glaciers in these regions will have potential impact on water supplies. The retreat of mountain glaciers, notably in western North America, Asia, the Alps, Indonesia and Africa, and tropical and subtropical regions of South America, has been used to provide qualitative evidence for the rise in global temperatures since the late 19th century.) The recent substantial retreat and an acceleration of the rate of retreat since 1995 of a number of key outlet glaciers of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, may foreshadow a rise in sea level, having a potentially dramatic effect on coastal regions worldwide.
ice melting glacier retreat2
Ice Melting & Glacier Retreat
  • The World Glacier Monitoring Service reports on changes in the terminus, or lower-elevation end, of glaciers from around the world every five years. In their 1995–2000 edition, they noted the terminal point variations of glaciers across the Alps. Over the five-year period from 1995 to 2000, 103 of 110 glaciers examined in Switzerland, 95 of 99 glaciers in Austria, all 69 glaciers in Italy, and all 6 glaciers in France were in retreat. French glaciers experienced a sharp retreat in the years 1942–53 followed by advances up to 1980, and then further retreat beginning in 1982. As an example, since 1870 the Argentière Glacier and Mont Blanc Glacier have receded by 1,150 (3,800 ft) and 1,400 m (4,600 ft), respectively. The largest glacier in France, the Mer de Glace, which is 11 km (7 miles) long and 400 m (1,300 ft) thick, has lost 8.3% of its length, or 1 km (0.6 miles), in 130 years, and thinned by 27%, or 150 m (500 ft), in the midsection of the glacier since 1907. The Bossons Glacier in Chamonix, France, has retreated 1,200 m (3,900 ft) from extents observed in the early 20th century. In 2005, of 91 Swiss glaciers studied, 84 retreated from where their terminal points had been in 2004 and the remaining 7 showed no change
ice melting glacier retreat3
Ice Melting & Glacier Retreat
  • Crucial to the survival of a glacier is its mass balance, the difference between accumulation and ablation (melting and sublimation). Climate change may cause variations in both temperature and snowfall, causing changes in mass balance. A glacier with a sustained negative balance is out of equilibrium and will retreat. A glacier with sustained positive balance is also out of equilibrium, and will advance to reestablish equilibrium. Currently, there are a few advancing glaciers.
  • Glacier retreat results in the loss of the low-elevation region of the glacier. Since higher elevations are cooler, the disappearance of the lowest portion of the glacier reduces overall ablation, thereby increasing mass balance and potentially reestablishing equilibrium. However, if the mass balance of a significant portion of the accumulation zone of the glacier is negative, it is in disequilibrium with the climate and will melt away without a colder climate and or an increase in frozen precipitation.
  • The key symptom of a glacier in disequilibrium is thinning along the entire length of the glacier.
sea level rise1
Sea-level rise
  • Most scientists agree that global warming presents the greatest threat to the environment.
  • There is little doubt that the Earth is heating up. In the last century the average temperature has climbed about 0.6 degrees Celsius (about 1 degree Fahrenheit) around the world.
  • From the melting of the ice cap on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, to the loss of coral reefs as oceans become warmer, the effects of global warming are often clear.
  • However, the biggest danger, many experts warn, is that global warming will cause sea levels to rise dramatically. Thermal expansion has already raised the oceans 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters). But that's nothing compared to what would happen if, for example, Greenland's massive ice sheet were to melt.
sea level rise2
Sea-level rise
  • The sea level has been rising at a rate of around 1.8 mm per year for the past century, mainly as a result of human-induced global warming. This rate is increasing; measurements from the period 1993–2003 indicated a mean rate of 3.1 mm/year. Global warming will continue to increase sea level over at least the coming century. The contribution from thermal expansion is well understood; substantial changes to the rate and magnitude of increase are largely dependent on how rapidly ice caps disintegrate with increasing temperatures—which is very difficult to model. The thermal expansion of sea water is currently the dominant contributor to sea level rise, and to the predicted rise over the next century, which is 90 to 880 mm (with a central value of 480 mm). Only if glacial melt substantially increases will it become the larger term. Ice can have a huge effect; the melting of the ice caps during the end of the last ice age resulted in a 120 meters rise in sea level.
sea level rise3
Sea-level rise
  • If small glaciers and polar ice caps on the margins of Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula melt, the projected rise in sea level will be around 0.5 m.
  • Melting of the Greenland ice sheet would produce 7.2 m of sea-level rise, and melting of the Antarctic ice sheet would produce 61.1 m of sea level rise.
  • A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land, a deluge. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide.
  • Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, which overflows, with the result that some of the water escapes its normal boundaries. While the size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes in precipitation and snow melt, it is not a significant flood unless such escapes of water endangers land areas used by man like a village, city or other inhabited area.
floods typical effects
Floods: typical effects

Primary effects

  • Physical damage - Can range anywhere from bridges, cars, buildings, sewer systems, roadways, canals and any other type of structure.
  • Casualties - People and livestock die due to drowning. It can also lead to epidemics and diseases.

Secondary effects

  • Water supplies - Contamination of water. Clean drinking water becomes scarce.
  • Diseases - Unhygienic conditions. Spread of water-borne diseases
  • Crops and food supplies - Shortage of food crops can be caused due to loss of entire harvest. However, lowlands near rivers depend upon river silt deposited by floods in order to add nutrients to the local soil.
  • Trees - Non-tolerant species can die from suffocation.

Tertiary/long-term effects

  • Economic - Economic hardship, due to: temporary decline in tourism, rebuilding costs, food shortage leading to price increase etc
  • A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm the local economy. This global phenomenon has a widespread impact on agriculture. The United Nations estimates that an area of fertile soil the size of Ukraine is lost every year because of drought, deforestation, and climate instability. Lengthy periods of drought have triggered mass migration in Africa in this last decade and in various other parts of the world for thousands of years.
hurricanes typhoons
Hurricanes, Typhoons
  • A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and flooding rain. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air.
  • The term "tropical" refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical regions of the globe, and their formation in Maritime Tropical air masses. The term "cyclone" refers to such storms' cyclonic nature, with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by many other names, such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.


They are small tornadoes that develop on land. Though usually weaker than classic tornadoes, they still produce strong winds and may cause serious damage.



They are simply defined as small tornadoes over water, less intense and severe but far more common. They have relatively weak winds and they typically travel very slowly.

  • An earthquake (also known as a tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are recorded with a seismometer, also known as a seismograph. The moment magnitude of an earthquake is conventionally reported, or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale.
  • At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground. When a large earthquake epicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami. The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity.
  • In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event—whether a natural phenomenon or an event caused by humans—that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. The term epicenter refers to the point at ground level directly above this.
climate change1
Climate change
  • Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” of a region or the earth as a whole. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns. It involves changes in the variability or average state of the atmosphere over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. These changes can be caused by

- dynamic processes on Earth,

- external forces (variations in sunlight intensity),

- and more recently by human activities.


Climate change factors

  • Climate changes reflect variations within the Earth's atmosphere, processes in other parts of the Earth such as oceans and ice caps, and the effects of human activity. The external factors that can shape climate are often called ”climate forcings” and include such processes as variations in solar radiation, the Earth's orbit, and greenhouse gas concentrations.
  • Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and it is a chaotic non-linear dynamical system. On the other hand, Climate — the average state of weather — is fairly stable and predictable. Climate includes the average temperature, amount of precipitation, days of sunlight, and other variables that might be measured at any given site. However, there are also changes within the Earth's environment that can affect the climate.

Glaciers are recognized as being among the most sensitive indicators of climate change, advancing substantially during climate cooling (e.g., the Little Ice Age) and retreating during climate warming on moderate time scales. Glaciers grow and collapse, both contributing to natural variability and greatly amplifying externally forced changes. For the last century, however, glaciers have been unable to regenerate enough ice during the winters to make up for the ice lost during the summer months.

ocean variability
Ocean variability

On the scale of decades, climate changes can also result from interaction of the atmosphere and oceans. Many climate fluctuations — including not only the El Niño Southern oscillation (the best known) but also the Pacific decadal oscillation, the North Atlantic oscillation, and the Arctic oscillation — owe their existence at least in part to different ways that heat can be stored in the oceans and move between different reservoirs.

On longer time scales ocean processes of circulation play a key role in redistributing heat, and can dramatically affect climate.

non climate factors driving climate change
Non-climate factors driving climate change

Current studies indicate that radiative forcing by greenhouse gases is the primary cause of global warming. Greenhouse gases are also important in understanding Earth's climate history. According to these studies, the greenhouse effect, which is the warming produced as greenhouse gases trap heat, plays a key role in regulating Earth's temperature.

During the modern era, the naturally rising carbon dioxide levels are implicated as the primary cause of global warming since 1950

human influences on climate change
Human influences on climate change

Anthropogenic factors are human activities that change

the environment and influence climate.

  • In some cases the chain of causality is direct and unambiguous (e.g., by the effects of irrigation on temperature and humidity), while in others it is less clear. Various hypotheses for human-induced climate change have been debated for many years, though it is important to note that the scientific debate has moved on from scepticism, as there is scientific consensus on climate change that human activity is beyond reasonable doubt as the main explanation for the current rapid changes in the world's climate. Consequently in politics, the debate has largely shifted onto ways to reduce human impact and adapt to change that is already in the system.
  • The biggest factor of present concern is the increase inCO2 levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion, followed by aerosols (particulate matter in the atmosphere), which exert a cooling effect, and cement manufacture. Other factors, including land use, ozone depletion, animal agriculture and deforestation, also affect climate.
evidence for climatic change
Evidence for climatic change

Evidence for climatic change is taken from a variety of sources that can be used to reconstruct past climates.

Most of the evidence is indirect—climatic changes are inferred from changes in indicators that reflect climate, such as vegetation, ice cores, sea level change, and glacial retreat.

the climate in the last hundred years
The climate in the last hundred years

The 1980s and the 1990s have been the warmest since accurate and widespread instrumental records began, over a hundred years ago.

The year 1998 is very likely to have been the warmest year during this period.

Each of the first 8 months of 1998 was very likely the warmest of those months in the record.

the climate in the last hundred years1
The climate in the last hundred years

The T record shows a considerable variability, not just from year to year, but from decade to decade. Although there is a distinct trend in it, the increase is not a uniform one.

The warming during the XXth century has not been uniform over the globe. For instance, the recent warming has been greatest over NH continents at mid to high latitudes. There have also been areas of cooling, for example over some parts of the North Atlantic ocean.

During the last few decades, in the daily cycle of T, minimum Ts over land have increased about twice as much as maximum T (possibly due not only to the effect of enhanced greenhouse gases but also to an increase in cloud cover).

the climate in the last hundred years2
The climate in the last hundred years

T reconstruction over the last 1000 y from ‘’proxy’’ data (tree rings, corals, ice cores and historical records) calibrated against instrumental data

the climate in the last hundred years3
The climate in the last hundred years

The increase in T has lead on average to increases in precipitation, although very variable in space and time

Significant cooling of the lower stratosphere has been observed over the last two decades.

This is to be expected both because of the decrease in concentration of ozone, which absorbs SW radiation, and because of the increased CO2 concentration, which leads to increased cooling at these levels.

We must in fact remember that the warming greenhouse effect can only operate in an atmosphere layer in which T decreases with height.

In the stratosphere, the thermal structure is characterized by T increasing with height and therefore more CO2 means cooling there.

the climate in the last hundred years4
The climate in the last hundred years

Over the last hundred years, sea level has risen by 10-20 cm.

The best known contributions to this rise are from the thermal expansion of ocean water (estimated as up to 7 cm) and from glaciers which have generally been retreating over the last century (estimated as up to ~4 cm). The net contribution from the Greenland and Anctartica ice caps is more uncertain but is believed to be small.

Climate extremes (floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, windstorms etc…) have occurred frequently and with high severity during the last decades.

kyoto protocol
Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 3–14 June 1992.

The treaty is intended to achieve "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

The Kyoto Protocol establishes legally binding commitments for the reduction of four greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane,nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride), and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by industrialized nations, as well as general commitments for all member countries. As of 2008, 183 parties have ratified the protocol, which was initially adopted for use on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and which entered into force on 16 February 2005.

kyoto protocol objectives
Kyoto Protocol: Objectives

The objective is to achieve "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on 16 March 1998, and closed on 15 March 1999. The agreement came into force on 16 February 2005 following ratification by Russia on 18 November 2004. As of May 2008, a total of 181 countries and 1 regional economic integration organization (the EEC) have ratified the agreement.

kyoto protocol objectives1
Kyoto Protocol: Objectives

Commitments. The heart of the Protocol lies in establishing commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases that are legally binding for Annex I countries, as well as general commitments for all member countries

The five principal concepts of the Kyoto Protocol are:

Implementation. In order to meet the objectives of the Protocol, Annex I countries are required to prepare policies and measures for the reduction of greenhouse gases in their respective countries. In addition, they are required to increase the absorption of these gases and utilize all mechanisms available, such as joint implementation, the clean development mechanism and emissions trading, in order to be rewarded with credits that would allow more greenhouse gas emissions at home.

Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change.

Accounting, Reporting and Review in order to ensure the integrity of the Protocol.

Compliance. Establishing a Compliance Committee to enforce compliance with the commitments under the Protocol.

common but differentiated responsibility
Common but differentiated responsibility

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to a set of a "common but differentiated responsibilities." The parties agreed that:

The largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries;

Per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low, and the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs.

In other words, China, India, and other developing countries were not included in any numerical limitation of the Kyoto Protocol because they were not the main contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions during the pre-treaty industrialization period. However, even without the commitment to reduce according to the Kyoto target, developing countries do share the common responsibility that all countries have in reducing emissions.

There will be a mechanism of "compliance", which means a "monitoring compliance with the commitments and penalties for non compliance."


1) Some public policy experts who are sceptical of human-caused global warming see Kyoto as a scheme to either slow the growth of the world's industrial democracies or to transfer wealth to the third world in what these experts claim is a global socialism initiative.

2) Others argue the protocol does not go far enough to curb greenhouse emissions.

3) Some environmental economists have been critical of the Kyoto Protocol. Many see the costs of the Kyoto Protocol as outweighing the benefits, some believing the standards which Kyoto sets to be too optimistic, others seeing a highly inequitable and inefficient agreement which would do little to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, some economists think that an entirely different approach needs to be followed than the approach suggested by the Kyoto-protocol.

4) Further, there is controversy surrounding the use of 1990 as a base year, as well as not using per capita emissions as a basis. Countries had different achievements in energy efficiency in 1990

increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990
Increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990

Below is a list of the change in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2004 for some countries that are part of the Climate Change Convention as reported by the United Nations.

increase in greenhouse gas emission since 19901
Increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990

Below is a table of the changes in CO2 emission of some countries.

increase in greenhouse gas emission since 19902
Increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990
  • Comparing total greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 to 1990 levels, the U.S. emissions were up by 15.8%, with irregular fluctuations from one year to another but a general trend to increase. At the same time, the EU group of 23 (EU-23) Nations had reduced their emissions by 5%. In addition, the EU-15 group of nations (a large subset of EU-23) reduced their emissions by 0.8% between 1990 and 2004, while emission rose 2.5% from 1999 to 2004. Part of the increases for some of the European Union countries are still in line with the treaty, being part of the cluster of countries implementation (see objectives in the list above).
  • As of year-end 2006, the United Kingdom and Sweden were the only EU countries on pace to meet their Kyoto emissions commitments by 2010. While UN statistics indicate that, as a group, the 36 Kyoto signatory countries can meet the 5% reduction target by 2012, most of the progress in greenhouse gas reduction has come from the stark decline in Eastern European countries' emissions after the fall of communism in the 1990s.
global warming




What can we do?

What are the possible


Are we really doomed to a catastrophic future?

How can we cut global warming pollution?

What can I do to help fight global warming?