Climate Change is Happening
Each graph below links to a paper with more detailed information.
The charts shows that summers have become noticeably hotter. The shift in winter is less obvious, even though the average warming is comparable to that in summer, because of greater natural variability in winter. Click the graph to download the paper “Perception of Climate Change” to learn more.
Sources: EIA Table E1 Estimated Primary Energy Consumption in the United States, 1635-1945. and EIA Table 1.3 Primary Energy Consumption Estimates by Source, 1949-2017.
The industrial revolution began with wood being replaced by coal as the primary energy source. Coal provided more concentrated energy, and thus was more mobile and effective. We show data for the United States because of the availability of a long data record that includes wood. More limited global records yield a similar picture (please see figure 14 in the paper). Economic progress and wealth generation were further spurred in the twentieth century by expansion into liquid and gaseous fossil fuels, oil and gas being transported and burned more readily than coal. Only in the latter part of the twentieth century did it become clear that long-lived combustion products from fossil fuels posed a global climate threat.
Click on the graph to download the paper “Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature” to learn more.
1917 to 2017 annual-mean global surface temperature change based on the local linear trends. Click on the graph to download the paper “Global Surface Temperature Change” to learn more.