Environmental Defense Fund: Global Warming by the Numbers – 13 Scary Facts

credit Lindblad Expeditions/ Ralph Lee HopkinsFriday the 13th just got a little scarier. Here are 13 facts about the realities of global warming.

The numbers speak for themselves β€” we must make 2009 the showdown year for global warming action. There is no time to lose.


Increase in the global carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1992.

[social_buttons]388.57 ppm

Average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in May 2008, a record high.

541 – 970 ppm

The projected concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 2100 under a business as usual scenario where we don’t dramatically reduce global warming emissions.

260 – 280 ppm

Average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before industrial emissions.

50 – 200 years

Length of time carbon dioxide stays in the earth’s atmosphere before it is absorbed into carbon sinks.

1000 years

Length of time changes in the earth’s surface temperature, rainfall, and sea level will remain even after carbon dioxide emissions are completely stopped.


Percentage that 2008’s Arctic seasonal sea ice melt outpaced normal levels.


Increase in the rate of Greenland’s ice melt over the last five years.

1.7 days

Number of days earlier seasons are coming than 50 years ago.

1.5 million

Number of acres of forests in Colorado destroyed by the pine beetle, which is better able to survive warmer winters and is wrecking havoc in America’s western forests.

$427 million

Amount spent by the oil and coal industries in the first six months of 2008 in political contributions, lobbying expenditures and advertising to oppose climate action.


Number of global warming bills passed by the Senate.


Number of global warming bills passed by the House.


By The Numbers 2008 Β»

By The Numbers 2007 Β»

By The Numbers 2006 Β»

One comment
  1. GMNightmare

    Do you know what’s missing from your… statistics? FACTS.

    What did the percentage increase do to our temperature using actual scientific equations? Less than 1 degree of change. That’s it. Real scientists like to use equations and actually calculate things, other than your “scary” statistics that mean absolutely nothing.

    Furthermore, a scenario where we increase our CO2 emissions to over 1000 PARTS PER MILLION is impossible. We don’t have enough fossil fuels to do it. We will be forced to stop before that ever becomes a possibility. Huh.

    Ah, ice melting. Sorry, but facts stack up to ice melting due to temperature change by CO2 making it completely erroneous. You know what is right? Oh, the same thing it was 15 years ago, ozone layer depletion. CO2 is a hoax covering our real problems, which were known and now being masked by a hoax. Let’s not mention plastic in oceans are what are making oceans acidic, not CO2.

    “Length of time changes in the earth’s surface temperature, rainfall, and sea level will remain even after carbon dioxide emissions are completely stopped.”
    That is completely incorrect, and shows complete ignorance on how climate works. Temperature NEVER stays the same, it always fluxes. So does rainfall… indeed, if following your argument (even though it’s completely wrong), if we stopped everything, then temperature would remain the same. Thus ice would keep melting… thus sea level would increase. Walla, I just squashed that theory using your own basis.

    Just to quickly note, temperature in the world hasn’t increased over the records set in 1998, thus the ice melting has to correlate to something else (which I’ve already specified), since you say ice has only recently started to melt more.

    The thing about Colorado rain forests is also wrong. This is not an issue about warmer seasons, it’s cold snaps. The temperature still reaches FAR below freezing… it just fewer quick snaps of cold. Again, this has nothing to do with a warmer season. In fact, my area has an incredible amount of cold snaps this season, far more than past years. Reality, cold snaps are typically very bad for a multitude of environments, although in this case it’s necessary. Still, the correlation is wrong.

    You know what’s insulting really? That you think one thing is affecting climate change. That there is a silver bullet. All the environmental problems of the past and current are being erased to just CO2. That’s bogus. That’s BS. It’s an outright lie and people like you are falling for it. What ever happened to our deforestation problems? Our plastic landmass in the middle of the ocean? Bloody hell, people terraform our land for living and farms and then act surprised when our climate changes! Blaming false problems will not help. Action is necessary, and the more resources are spent fighting a hoax, the more real problems effect our planet. I sit here, looking at people who can’t even think beyond problems, and understand WHY. People blame everything on CO2 global warming, because it’s convenient. Ignore all the real problems they’re doing, just blame it on something else. Fish population decreasing? Don’t blame overfishing, blame global warming! Bleh, I’m SICK OF IT.

    The scientific equations, by the way, are out here:

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