This graph from Raupach et al. (2007) was originally published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. This graph attempts to analyze the question, which countries/regions contribute the most of global CO2 emissions. The x-axis shows time since 1980 and the y-axis is CO2 emissions in Megatons of Carbon per year. It is easiest to read this graph as a relative contribution and focus primarily on the size of the colored rows. Patterns that should emerge are that the United States is still the single largest contributor of CO2 emissions but certain countries (e.g. China) are increasing. (Note: Data and graph ends at 2004. China’s contribution has increased considerably since).
On the right side of the graph are either country or region labels. FSU stands for those countries that made up the Former Soviet Union (e.g. Russia, Armenia, Ukraine). The designations of D1, D2, and D3 represent groups of countries of different stages of development. Examples of D1 countries include: Andorra, Australia, Norway, and South Korea. D2 examples include: Kenya, Brazil, Egypt, Vietnam, and Mexico. D3 examples include: Afghanistan, Nepal, and Ethiopia.
For a more complete list of country designations refer to page 27 of the following pdf: http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/TrendsInCO2Emissions.V15.pdf
There are other interesting graphs provided as supplemental material as part of the above pdf (e.g. population). Once the country and region designations are understood other patterns/graphs regarding energy consumptions can be appreciated. Table 1 in the supplemental material also gives exact CO2 emissions data.
1.Have students select a country from around the world and have them research how these governments are responding to the issue of climate change and CO2 emissions.
2.Use the provided link to access a lesson plan on globalization. Although the lesson plan focuses primarily on oil, connections to the above graph can be made. Globalization Lesson Plan