Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change

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Stormy Weather Climate Numbers:
Climate Numbers That Count

Data from Stormy Weather:
101 Solutions to Global Climate Change

Years since the Earth's ozone layer was formed: 2,000 million
Number of species that can live outside the oceans in a world without an ozone layer: 0
Years since we started destroying the ozone layer: 66
Years since we decided to stop destroying the ozone layer: 14
Years in which the extent of ozone depletion has decreased: 0

Years since fossil fuels were deposited on Earth: 60 million
Total carbon emissions per year from human activities: 8 billion tonnes
% of the world's carbon emissions that result from burning fossil fuels: 77.5%
% of the world's carbon emissions that result from forest and soil loss: 22.5%

Years since we started consuming coal: 600
Tonnes of coal consumed in 1998: 5 billion
% of the world's carbon emissions that result from burning coal: 27.5%

Years since we started consuming oil: 140
World's total supply of oil: 2000 - 2800 billion barrels
Quantity of oil consumed up to 2000: 900 billion barrels
Quantity of oil consumed in 2000: 28 million barrels
Quantity of oil discovered in 2000: 6 million barrels

Number of days' US oil supply in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: 152
% of the world's carbon emissions that result from burning oil: 33.3%

Years since we started consuming natural gas: 110
World's proven reserves of natural gas: 5,146 trillion cubic feet
Current rate of consumption of natural gas: 83 trillion cubic feet a year
Forecast consumption of natural gas for 2020: 167 trillion cubic feet a year

% of new US electricity planned to come from natural gas: 96%
% of the world's carbon emissions that result from burning gas: 16.3%

Main ingredient in natural gas: methane
Factor by which methane is a more potential greenhouse gas than CO2 over 100 years: 23
Factor by which methane is a more potential greenhouse gas than CO2 over 20 years: 62

Years since we started destroying our planet's forests: 3,000
% of world's carbon emissions that result from forest loss: 22.5%
Years needed before a clearcut Douglas fir oldgrowth forest recovers its lost carbon: 150

Quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere before the industrial revolution: 288 parts per million
Quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere in 2000: 370 parts per million
Years since Earth's CO2 level was last this high: 20 million
Annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere: 1.5 parts per million

Average nighttime temperature on Mars, with almost no greenhouse effect: minus 189° F
Average temperature on Venus, with high greenhouse effect: 860° F
Average temperature on Earth, with moderate greenhouse effect: 59° F

% of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by CO2: 52.5%
% of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by methane: 17.3%
% of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by ozone: 12.5%
% of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by industrial greenhouse gases: 12.2%
% of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by nitrous oxide: 5.4%

Number of ice ages in last 420,000 years: 4
Average length of each ice age: 90,000 years
Average length of each inter-glacial period: 10,000 years
Time since end of last ice age: 11,500 years

Global temperature increase, 1750-1990: 1.25° F
Rate of temperature increase since 1990: 0.72° F
IPCC's estimate of global temperature increase by 2100: 2.5° F - 10.4° F

Temperature increase in the Arctic since 1970: 4° F
Average depth of Arctic sea-ice, pre 1960: 3 meters
Loss of sea-ice depth to melting since 1970: 1.2 metres
Depth of sea-ice in 2040, if melting continues: 0 meters

Number of glaciers in Glacier National Park, 1850: 150
Number of glaciers in Glacier National Park, 2000: 50

Average reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) below 1990 levels required by Kyoto: 5.2%
% reduction needed by USA to meet Kyoto, by 2010: 27%
% reduction needed by Canada to meet Kyoto, by 2010: 44%
Reduction in GHGs that IPCC scientists say is needed to avoid ecological catastrophe: 60-70%

Primary energy consumed by the world in 1998: 382 quadrillion Btus (quads)
% of primary energy provided by fossil fuels in 1998: 85%
Potential for gains through energy efficiency today: 50%
Potential for gains through energy efficiency and lifestyle changes by 2025: 75%

Primary energy needed for sustainable world in 2025: 500 quads
Renewable energy needed by 2025, if 80% is renewable: 400 quads
Land needed to generate 400 quads if all was from solar energy: 330,000 square miles
% of Earth's total land area that this represents: 0.57%
% of North African and Middle East deserts that this represents: 5%

Global wind energy potential: 341 quads
Global geothermal energy potential: 468 quads
Global tidal energy potential: 72 quads
Global biomass energy potential: 254 quads

Price of solar energy in 1970s: $100 per watt
Price of solar energy in 2001: $5 per watt
Potential price of solar energy, with 500 MW/year mass production: $1.25 per watt

Year when Danish neighbours built first modern wind turbine: 1978
% of Denmark's wind generated by wind in 2001: 15%
Number of jobs in Danish wind energy sector: 17,000
% of global wind turbines exported that are Danish: 55%
Length of coal-train needed to supply Denmark's wind energy equivalent from coal: 366 miles

Quantity of wind energy generated in Germany in 2000: 6,100 MW
Quantity of wind energy generated in USA in 2000: 2,500 MW
Quantity of wind energy generated in Canada in 2000: 137 MW
Europe's goal for wind energy in 2010: 60,000 MW

US electrical generation capacity in 1998: 3,600 TWh
North Dakota's wind energy potential: 1,200 TWh
Texas' wind energy potential: 1,190 TWh
Kansas' wind energy potential: 1,070 TWh
South Dakota's wind energy potential: 1,033 TWh
Lower 48 states' wind energy potential: 10,871 TWh

Assumed carbon tax in WEFA study that predicts economic doom from Kyoto: $265 per ton
Cost of carbon displacement via solar electrification project in Sri Lanka: $18 per ton
Cost of carbon displacement via planting trees with American Forests: $11 per ton
Cost of carbon displacement via methane recovery from landfill: $2 per ton

Value of carbon displacement via energy efficiency and innovation: $4 - $7 per ton
Value of reduced acid rain and smog from closing coal-fired plants: $12 - $18 per ton
Predicted cost of weather-related disasters to world by 2050: $300 billion/year

Amount spent by oil and gas companies in 2000 Presidential campaign: $30 million
% given to Democrats: 20%
% given to Republicans: 78%
Amount spent by transportation companies in 2000 Presidential campaign: $51 million
% given to Democrats: 27%
% given to Republicans: 72%

Tonnes of CO2 produced by 1 person flying New York to Paris: 3.8
Tonnes of CO2 produced by 1 person flying Winnipeg to Miami: 2.2
Conversion factor, carbon to CO2: multiply by 3.667

Pounds of CO2 produced by burning 1 gallon of gasoline: 20
Pounds of CO2 per mile released if car does 20 mpg: 1
Tons of CO2 released by driving 15,000 miles in Chevrolet Suburban SUV: 12.9
Tons of CO2 released by driving 15,000 miles in Honda Insight: 3.1
Years since US Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Standards were raised: 26

Average yearly cost of using inefficient household appliances (8 cents/kWh): $900
Average yearly cost of using efficient household appliances (8 cents/kWh): $460
Tons of CO2 produced by using inefficient household appliances (1.6lbs carbon per kWh): 9
Tons of CO2 produced by using efficient household appliances (1.6lbs carbon per kWh): 4.6

Annual return on investment from buying efficient lamps and fixtures: 41%
Annual return on investment from buying 30 year bonds: 4.2%

Tonnes of methane released annually from human activities: 375 million
% of methane that comes from cows and pigs: 25%
Pounds of methane released by production of 1 lb. of beef: 0.5
Pounds of carbon equivalent (over 20 years) released by production of 1 lb. of beef: 31

Quantity of beef eaten annually per person in the USA: 260 lbs
Pounds of carbon equivalent (over 20 years) released by production of 260 lbs of beef: 8,000
Quantity of beef eaten annually per person in Canada: 210 lbs
Pounds of carbon equivalent (over 20 years) released by production of 210 lbs of beef: 6,510

Tons of CO2 produced in manufacturing a car: 5.25
Pounds of CO2 produced in manufacturing a daily paper: 0.72
Pounds of CO2 saved by recycling 1 bottle: 1
Pounds of CO2 saved by recycling 1 paper: 0.25

Money spent by America's schools each year on energy: $6 billion
Amount that could be saved by more efficient designs and methods: $1.5 billion
Number of trees to be planted in Los Angeles' Cool Schools program: 8,000
Energy saved by using 'daylighting' in North Carolina schools: 22% - 64%
Improvement in school grades as result of daylighting: 5% - 21%

Energy savings from city building retrofits in Montgomery County, Maryland: 30-40%
Savings per year from reducing emissions in City of Toronto: $12 million CAN
Tons of CO2 saved if all buildings in USA & Canada were retrofitted: 550 million
Number of trees planted from 1990 - 2000 by Sacramento Shade: 500,000
Tons of CO2 removed annually by Sacramento's urban forest: 238,000

Number of audited energy efficiency projects completed by Dow Chemicals in the 1980s: 575
Average return on investment of each project: 204%
Annual savings to Dow's shareholders, as a result of the investments: $110 million

Energy-use reduction achieved by Boeing by installing more efficient lighting: 90%
Return on investment from the new lighting: 53%
Savings to IBM through greenhouse gas reduction projects over 10 years: $525 million
CO2 eliminated through these projects: 6 million tons
Energy reduction achieved when Interface shifted to 100% recyclable, returnable carpeting: 90%
Fuel efficiency increase planned for next generation of FedEx delivery trucks: 50%

% of U.S. greenhouse gases produced from energy used in buildings: 35%
Energy that could be saved by upgrading existing buildings: 30% - 50%
Energy that could be saved by efficient new buildings: 70% - 90%
% of buildings that are considered efficient: 2%

Energy saved by new ING Bank in Amsterdam, Holland's 2nd largest bank: 90%
Additional cost of energy-saving features: $700,000
Annual saving from new energy-efficient features: $2.9 million

Greenhouse gases released in 1998 by US landfills, in carbon equivalents : 65 million tons
Number of landfills in the USA: 6,000
Number that are capturing their methane gas to convert to energy: 270

% of lumber cut in the U.S. that is used for wooden pallets: 11%
Number of pallets in the US: 1.5 billion
Number of new pallets made every year: 400 million
Number of houses that could be framed each year from discarded pallets: 300,000
Annual cost to New York businesses to dispose of pallets: $130 million

Daily subsidy given by the US government to the oil, coal and gas industry: $50 million
Estimated daily worldwide subsidy given to fossil fuel industry: $643 - $959 million
IPCC estimation of reduction in CO2 emissions if subsidies were removed: 4% - 18%

Money raised in 1997 by the UK charity Comic Relief for famine in Africa: $38 million
Days of debt service payments that this represents for Africa: 1.3
Money per person per year that Uganda spends on debt relief: $17
Money per person per year that Uganda spends on health care: $3

Face value of debt owed by the world's 52 poorest nations: $376 billion
Actual cost to cancel this debt: $71 billion
Annual cost per person to OECD citizens to cancel this debt over 20 years: $4
Biggest need facing developing nations as they strive to replace fossil fuels: money

Last Updated 2001