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Explore the data
Climate change: Turning down the thermostat

Below you'll find some charts that are used in the Climate change: Turning down the thermostat of Not the End of the World. Many of these charts are interactive so that you can explore this data over different periods, and for most countries in the world.

First, I'll list some best data sources that I used when writing this chapter, and go back to for the most recent updates. They're some of the core datasets that we use on Our World in Data. This is not an exhaustive list – there are lots of others doing great work in this area. In particular, these are data sources that update over time, so they're not static or specific to a single year. That means you can track progress in the future.

Where to go to explore more:

Explore the Data

Here are some interactive versions of charts used in the book. I've also left some notes on the underlying data source, where you can explore the methodology and related metrics.

If you are using any of this data or the charts, please make sure to credit the underlying source (not me).

Carbon dioxide emissions

The chart below shows the change in carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions per person over time.


It includes all emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels (from coal, oil, gas and flaring) plus direct industrial emissions from cement. It does not include emissions from land use change, but you can find this data here.

Source: The data source is the Global Carbon Project (GCP). Two of its authors, Robbie Andrew and Glen Peters, provide a clear and detailed methodology on how this data is constructed (this is recommended reading for users).

Here are interactive charts of other metrics to explore:

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

CO₂-GDP Decoupling

The chart below shows the change in per capita CO₂ emissions and gross domestic product (GDP) since 1990.


Emissions are shown as two metrics – territorial emissions, and consumption-based, which adjusts for traded goods and 'offshoring' of emissions. It's called 'absolute decoupling' when GDP increases while emissions fall. You can also explore this data without adjustments for population here.

You can add different countries using the buttons at the top. You can also adjust the timeline at the bottom to see changes over different periods; for example, in the US emissions did not start falling until around 2000, so you can see the change since then using the timeline.

Source: The data source for emissions is the Global Carbon Project, and GDP is from the World Bank.

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Death of coal across many countries

The chart below shows the change in the share of electricity coming from coal.

You can add different countries using the buttons at the top, and look at the global picture using the 'map' tab.

Source: The data source is Ember Climate.

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Electricity and energy mixes

The charts below allow you to explore how electricity and energy mixes are changing across countries.

Source: The data sources are Ember Climate and the Energy Institute's Review of World Energy.

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Electric vehicles

In the book, I reference various numbers on electric vehicles: sales, battery costs, and carbon emissions.

Here's a list of resources that I used, and you can explore in more detail.

Electric car sales: This data comes from the International Energy Agency (IEA). It publishes annual updates of these numbers for many countries. You can explore this data here.

Battery costs: Long-term battery cost data comes from a study by researchers at MIT. Micah Ziegler and Jessika Trancik found that the cost of lithium-ion battery cells fell by more than 97% since 1990. I wrote about this on Our World in Data here. Bloomberg New Energy Finance tracks the most recent changes in battery costs – the latest figures show that this decline is now more than 98%.

Carbon footprint: I reference an analysis by Zeke Hausfather in Carbon Brief, showing that lifetime emissions of electric cars are significantly lower than petrol or diesel. It's a great article that runs through all of the data.

But many other organisations have shown that electric cars are better for the climate. I did an analysis on my blog, based on numbers from Carbon Counter.

Here's data and results from the International Energy Agency, International Council on Clean Transportation, UK Government, and US Environment Protection Agency, to name a few.

Simon Evans at Carbon Brief also published an excellent fact-check about many misleading claims about electric cars.

Emissions from food

The chart below shows the greenhouse gas emissions of different food items, per kilogram. This is the global average in a large meta-study. But you can see the range of emissions for each product in an article I wrote here.

This comparison is also available per 100 grams of protein, and per 1000 kilocalories.

Source: The data source is a meta-analysis published in Science by Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek (2018).

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Deaths from disasters

The chart below shows the number of deaths from disasters – including weather-related events, earthquakes, and volcanoes. It is shown as the decadal average: the average number per year in any given decade.

You can add different countries using the buttons at the top.

A chart of deaths by year (not given as decadal averages) is available here.

Source: The data source is EM-DAT, CRED (

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

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