Carbonchart: Why are Global CO2 Emissions Soaring?

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As the costs of recent droughts spiral from USA to Australia, West Africa to India, we’re getting a taste of what a significantly warmer climate would be like. Critically as the scientific evidence mounts up that climate change is occurring, global carbon dioxide emissions are soaring. Why is this?

I’ve designed a new website Carbon Chart visualising current data to answer this question.

There’s no single ideal metric to determine the contribution of different countries towards global warming, and a range of different perspectives need to be considered, as well as related issues of economic development and poverty reduction. The design of Carbon Chart is intended to allow the comparison of several perspectives.

So where are the maps? I’ve gone for a graph approach to focus on change over time. See Kiln’s excellent Carbon Map website for a cartogram-based approach to understanding global warming.

Current emissions data do not make happy reading. CO2 output is increasing in the developed world in consumption terms, and is rocketing in the developing world, especially China. We’re replicating our carbon intensive economic model on an incredible scale.

Maybe the climate models are wrong, or maybe an international climate agreement with substance is just around the corner. But right now it’s difficult to see how the more extreme scenarios of 4°C+ warming are going to be avoided.