What Do I Think of the World Bank Data? What Do You Think?

If you look at the World Bank database’s website, there is a section under Data called Indicators. Scrolling down that page gets us to the section on those that apply to climate change:

Climate Change

Access to electricity (% of population) Investment in energy with private participation (current US$)
Agricultural irrigated land (% of total agricultural land) Investment in telecoms with private participation (current US$)
Agricultural land (% of land area) Investment in transport with private participation (current US$)
Agriculture, value added (% of GDP) Investment in water and sanitation with private participation (current US$)
Annual freshwater withdrawals, total (billion cubic meters) Land area where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total land area)
Cereal yield (kg per hectare) Malnutrition prevalence, weight for age (% of children under 5)
CO2 emissions (kt) Methane emissions (kt of CO2 equivalent)
CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) Mortality rate, under-5 (per 1,000 live births)
CPIA public sector management and institutions cluster average (1=low to 6=high) Nitrous oxide emissions (thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent)
Ease of doing business index (1=most business-friendly regulations) Other greenhouse gas emissions, HFC, PFC and SF6 (thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent)
Electric power consumption (kWh per capita) Population growth (annual %)
Energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) Population in urban agglomerations of more than 1 million (% of total population)
Energy use (kt of oil equivalent) Population living in areas where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total population)
Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current US$) Population, total
Forest area (% of land area) Poverty headcount ratio at $1.25 a day (PPP) (% of population)
Forest area (sq. km) Primary completion rate, total (% of relevant age group)
GDP (current US$) Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education (%)
GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) Roads, paved (% of total roads)
Improved sanitation facilities (% of population with access) Urban population
Improved water source, rural (% of rural population with access) Urban population (% of total)
Improved water source, urban (% of urban population with access)

At my last count this list included 41 indicators. I have often discussed the straightforward connections between a few of these and climate change, especially with regards to the IPAT identity (see almost all of my recent blogs, starting at the beginning of February). These have included carbon dioxide emissions, GDP, GNI, methane emissions, other greenhouse gases, population, and population growth. What about the rest? Why are they there?

Are there any indicators missing, such as loss of diversity, desertification, frequency of extreme events such as flooding, fires, droughts, etc.?

I’m issuing a challenge worthy of the approaching Earth Day (April 22nd) – either select one of the indicators from above that is not part of the IPAT identity and write a comment that justifies its inclusion or identify and try to justify an indicator that you think is missing from the list.

To make this challenge more interesting I have opened this blog up to my students and have asked them to contribute comments. I have also “promised” them that the connection of some of these indicators to anthropogenic climate change will be part of their upcoming final exam. They can use any comment material that they desire (but they will not have computers available to them during the exam, so they’ll have to read up on the comments beforehand). Please help them by writing out your own thought process.

Bonus in honor of Earth Day: as you may know, I have profiles on both Facebook and Twitter (I hope you’re already following/liking both). For the next two weeks, I’m calling for your messages, comments and pictures. Tweet to me or post on the CCF Facebook about what you’re doing for Earth Day, what the holiday means to you, and/or just your favorite places, plants or animals that make our planet special. I will be looking out for your contributions and will post and link to them here. I look forward to seeing what you send my way!

Next week I’ll also be posting a list of Earth Day Events, both here in NYC and across the country. Feel free to comment here or through social media if you have any suggestions for that list.

About climatechangefork

Micha Tomkiewicz, Ph.D., is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics, Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is also a professor of physics and chemistry in the School for Graduate Studies of the City University of New York. In addition, he is the founding-director of the Environmental Studies Program at Brooklyn College as well as director of the Electrochemistry Institute at that same institution.
This entry was posted in Climate Change and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to What Do I Think of the World Bank Data? What Do You Think?

  1. Group 5 says:

    We find some of the data on from the World Bank extremely useful, such as Access to Electricity and Arable land. With statistics such as these clearly graphed and explained, it is easier to understand climate change and why it is happening and how it is affecting the world. The date collected by the food & agriculture organization of the united nations are supplemental with information and secondary sources that cover official country data from national organizations. We also found the vast amount of information and resources that can be found on there extremely helpful. They have information that can indicate positive outcomes, as well as negatives ones throughout the world. For example, there was an article for poverty headcount ratio, percent of population, at $1.90 a day and I found it very useful that you had various charts or maps for the information. A very helpful thing was the addition of the resources used for the articles such as excel files or csv files for those who would want to interpret the data or findings for themselves. The world bank also gives us a better idea of poverty, not just in the U.S, but on a global scale. Were able to see in the article “Does monetary poverty capture all aspects of poverty” that there’s a huge number of children from 119 countries that are deprived from an education. I believe that with this, we can do something about the problems occurring. I was disappointed to see that some of the data was very limited for available for indicators such as protected marine land. I would like to learn more about their data collection process as their information is only valuable if it is accurate. Yet, while we think the data found and made accessible by the World Bank is important and influential, the controversies of the World Bank, such as its breaching of Indigenous rights and buyout to monopolies and other massive corporations, take away some of the legitimacy of the data.

  2. Alexander Dimin says:

    The world bank data, or really any fully comprehensive set of data on the environment is very important to be able to understand the changes that are occuring in the environment and to attempt to predict the changes that will occur in the future. Especially interesting in the data set is their focus on the forest loss both in percentage loss and in square miles lost. What they fail to mention, and would be much harder to calculate is the underwater forest loss being caused by climate change. According to an article recently published in the NYtimes the kelp forests of the pacific northwest are being decimated due to the changing currents and temperatures of the world’s oceans which are directly affected by the anthropogenic gas contribution of humans. But the problem with these calculations is the cause and effect is rarely direct. It is not the water temperature rise that is killing the kelp, rather the temperature rise is making it more conducive for the purple sea urchin. In turn, the purple sea urchin populations are exploding above normal numbers and this 60 fold increase in sea urchin which did not exist before the warmer temperatures are eating entire kelp forests. The scientists are so concerned with the decline in underwater kelp forest that they warn that the only kelp forests that the next generation will be able to visit will be at the aquarium. The other aspect to this decline that is troubling is the loss of aquatic life is directly affecting the human food supply. Loss of habitat such as kelp forests is having a huge impact on wild fish populations and as a result of climate change coupled with chronic overfishing the total catch of wild fish that humans depend on has been dropping for years.


  3. Anthony Bianco (Group 6) says:

    Agriculture is the complicated position of being a contributor to and a sufferer from the effects of climate change felt throughout the world. It is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gases, through the methane production of farm animals, and both food production as well as distribution. However, there are a number of ways in which Agriculture Land use in particular adds to carbon concentrations in the atmosphere. Deforestation, for example, is utilized to create more available planting space and clears much needed tree cover that might otherwise be absorbing CO2 and other pollutants. Soil erosion by water, wind, or tillage can lead to a poorer crop yield due to less topsoil and nutrients. This brings with it the added problems of biodiversity loss, through a combination of erosion and industrial monocropping. The chemical fertilizers and pesticides used on the land may also have a bearing on the soil’s quality, prior to it sliding into erosion.

  4. Jheshan Dowlah (group 3) says:

    The stat our group looked at was: Forest Area (% of land area)
    Forest area is the land that is under natural or planted stands of trees. Over the last ten years, forest area has decreased by .11% due to deforestation. Deforestation has a huge impact on every living creatures on earth. Forests are important as they not only slow down climate change by absorbing atmospheric carbon, but they also provide an important ecosystem for flora and fauna. Forests are a major carbon sink and is responsible for absorbing C02 from the atmosphere and turning it into oxygen through photosynthesis. Deforestation causes carbon dioxide emissions which contribute about 12% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. An example of this is the deforestation of the rainforests. Companies may use illegal “Slash and burn” practices to deforest an area which causes more CO2 to enter the atmosphere. Emissions are also created when by cutting down trees: when trees are felled, they release into the atmosphere all the carbon they’ve been storing. As well as the loss of wildlife, the deforestation causes the land to become hotter as a result of fewer trees to absorb the sunlight and CO2. As the percentage of forests decrease, the amount of CO2 will increase causing a rise in global temperatures. These temperature changes will cause wide ranging impacts from extended periods of drought, melting of the icebergs, and an increase intensity of tornadoes and hurricanes. The forest cover 30% of the land in the world and it’s the home for 90% of animal, plant and insert and it’s one of the biggest carbon sinks. it absorbs 2.4 billion tons and stores billions of tons of carbon dioxide. But right now, there are about 600 million hectares forest had been destroyed and it’s very important to keep the global temperature below 2 degree. Some scientist said that we need the reduce 50% of total forest destruction to protect the environment.

  5. Dinaira Jagoo Group1 says:

    Out of the indicators provided, we chose “forest area”. Forests growing result in carbon being removed from the atmosphere and it being absorbed in wood, soil and leaves. Forests absorb and store carbon over time which makes them carbon sinks. Carbon remains stored in the forest’s ecosystem and is released when forests are burned. Recently, there is the tragic California fire. It has killed people and destroyed many homes. The elements from the climate that caused the fire are the high temperatures, it has been dry for a long time and the strong winds from the nearby desert. Forest fires are one way forests are affected by the climate. Another way is people cutting down trees without planting others to replace them. Forest areas are affected by climate change which results in negative impacts in the climate.
    PHYS1080-MW12 GROUP 1

  6. The World Bank include the indicator “Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education” because it can affect the climate change indirectly. As girls get more education, they will be realized that they are not just for reproduction. They can have their own career and not just a housewife. This will lead to a decline in population. As the population decrease there will be less demand for energy and foods which will lead to decline in CO2 emission. Besides the decline in population, more educated women also mean more supporters for the renewable energy and environmentally friendly policies. With more education women will realized the seriousness of climate change and make contributions for solving this problem such as using cleaner energy or giving government more pressure. Overall, ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education shows us how much impact women have on the climate change issues currently.

  7. Yong Qi Chen (Group 4) says:

    The World Bank included the indicator “Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education” because it can affect the climate change indirectly. First, as girls have more education they will realized that they are not only for reproduction, and they don’t have to be housewives. This will lead to the decline in population. As population decrease there will be less demand for energy and foods which will lead to the decline in CO2 emission. Besides the decline in population, more educated women also mean more supporters for renewable energy and environmental friendly policies. With more education women will realized the seriousness of climate change and make contributions for solving this problem such as using cleaner energy or giving government more pressure. Overall, the ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education will shows us how much impact women have on climate change issues currently.

  8. Group 1 Pan says:

    Forest and grasslands purify air and water, prevent soil Erosion plus provide vital wildlife habitat. Forests cover 31 percent of the worlds lands surface, just over 4 billon hectares (one hectare=2.47 acres). Land use has many attributes that provide ecosystem services to humans and serve as a tourist attractions.According to data.worldbank.org, the definition of forest area is land under natural and planted stands, excludes tree stands in agricultural system. The forest area was continually decrease from 31.801% to 30.825% during 1990 to 2015 period. The main cause of climate change is greenhouse effect, and carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas. Forest can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by photosynthesis. Deforestation decrease the total amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by trees, and deforestation also release greenhouse gas. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated emissions from deforestation in the 1990s to be at 5.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year or about 20% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Forest is not only a part of mitigation(reducing greenhouse emissions), it is also a part of adaptation(Adapting to the climate change).Forest is a very important type of ecosystem.Ecosystem-based adaptation is adaptation strategy by using biodiversity and ecosystem services. It includes the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to provide services that help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.Conservation and restoration of forests can stabilize land slopes and regulate water flows.Climate change itself also impact deforestation.Biological diversity is the variety of life in the ecosystem, it acts to stabilize ecosystem functioning in the face of environmental fluctuation. Climate change affect biodiversity by forcing living things shift habitat, to change life cycles, or to develop new physical traits. These accelerate deforestation.

  9. Sofia Granovskaia (group 6) says:

    For the past 50 years climate change has affected how we go about planting and harvesting cereal crops as well nurturing the soil for future use. Global warming has brought about opportunities for colder countries such as Canada, by expanding the growing seasons. Since 1961 Canada has experienced almost 400% growth in its annuel cereal crops. This can be closely tied to warmer temperatures allowing for food growth where previously had been too cold.

  10. Group 3 c/o William Franklin says:

    In order to understand Agricultural Land as a categorical necessity for statistical analysis in relation to climate change we first needed to define agricultural land. Fortunately, in doing so we uncovered the exact impact it has on climate change. NASA calls agricultural land a biological community made by man to produce food and beverages for man. In these communities we produce meat, meat products, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and wine. In the production of meat and meat products we have the practice of confined feeding. In this we’re raising a massive population of livestock, within too small spaces, in the name of efficiency. This practice produces methane in exuberant amounts stemming from the animals digestion and stored manure. In the production of grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and wine there’s a two part process of clearing to till the land and fertilizing to harvest the land. These practices produce nitrous oxide from fertilizers. The purpose of these bio-communities are to meet the growing demands of developing countries who are raising their standard of living as they also raise their national incomes. As developing countries like China and India converge GDP per capita with the US, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural land will only get worse, consequently adversely effecting climate change.

  11. Darren Ayala says:

    The steady decline in mortality rate for individuals under 5 years old between 1990 and 2016 can suggest a loss for climate regulation in the long run, but those countries with a rising mortality rate for those under 5 can also adversely affect our atmosphere, such what seems to be the case in Fiji, Grenada, Macedonia, Venezuela, and Dominica who are all on upward trends. There are also countries who have spikes in mortality rate in recent years, such as Haiti, Botswana, and Samoa, to name a few. A high mortality rate can suggest an increase in overall CO2 in our atmosphere due to deforestation to make room for cemeteries. The burning of bodies for ceremony or cremation for those under 5 years old will also add to the CO2 output by the society with the high mortality rate. But this is only a short term affect on our atmosphere when considering the countries who have a lower mortality rate. For those countries on the downward trend of mortality in children under 5, which is the case with most countries as of 2016, it also doesn’t look good for our atmosphere and the rise of CO2 emissions. With more people reaching adulthood, there is a greater need for housing, a greater use of natural resources, a greater waste production, and greater energy use and CO2 output as time goes on by those individuals. Although it is a great thing that mortality rates across the globe for those under 5 have dropped, there would need to be extreme change to limit our CO2 output to keep up with the rapidly growing population that this chart suggests is happening universally.

  12. Maria Flores says:

    Mortality rate under five as an indicator for climate change doesn’t really make sense directly but once digested one can see why it is considered an indicator. Although some of my group members decided/agreed that this indicator would actually be in favor of decreasing carbon emissions thus less contribution to Climate Change effects. In other words if there are higher mortality rates among the population it totally decreases less of those activities that contribute to the destruction of the environment. Activities like the burning of fossil fuels which release carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere, between others. In my opinion it does the opposite. The mortality rate of children under five is directly contributing to the growing effects of climate change because we are losing potential people who could potentially benefit the environment. Children under five dying is not a positive outcome for the environment because these children will no longer be burning fossil fuels for the environment. These are children who could potentially be the generation that grows with valuable morals to take care of the earth rather than just being part of the whole population of people who have been part of its destruction.
    In the other hand if we are talking about how climate change is affecting our children and thus causing the mortality rate under five we can argue that climate change has fatally affected them all. Especially those who live in poor urban areas and lack the resources to escape Earth’s natural disasters and human made. Climate change will dramatically increase the frequency of floods, droughts and other severe environmental events and children are specifically at risk. The consequences deriving from such disasters are inevitable, malnutrition and contamination of water are two of the many negative outcomes of such disasters and children are vulnerably exposed to them since children tend to have weaker immune systems. Thus, making us question what can we as a population do to prevent such disasters? Is recycling enough? Will our desire to take over the world satisfy us when the world can no longer sustain life? We need to overthink our values and morals to reinvent our way of living and start taking care of our environment the proper way before is too late.

  13. Mamadou Diallo says:

    World Data Bank is very informative in the context of climate change. But small rural places that doesn’t make it to this world bank is also significant for an example mitigating solutions are far better and effective than that of big cities where there’s lots of production and consumption and less solutions on reducing global warming. Where I’m from there’s not lots pollution. UNICEF has provided us with clean running water and solar panels provide energy for us. For cooking we burn down fallen tree branches that had dried up and that causes precipitation as rain for trees to grow again.

  14. Saja Sandfia says:

    Global warming is the increasing of temperature on earth’s surface cause by the increased levels of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide as a primary gas). Global warming is often seen as a negative thing. Some global warming is good, for example plantations have become greener over the past three decades, and there has been a decreasing amount of deaths caused by cold weather. However, global warming can also be harmful, for example rising sea levels, and increasing deaths cause by heat waves. Negative global warming is when there are too many greenhouse gases, which causes the thermal blanket to get thicker. When the thermal blanket gets thicker, this causes earth’s atmosphere to buildup heat. The main gas that impacts global warming is carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere will cause climate change. Carbon dioxide forms when we burn fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil. Cutting down and burning forests is also a cause of carbon dioxide overload. All these methods cause extra carbon dioxide, which will be harmful if we do not remove the excess carbon. Carbon dioxide is also formed through electricity, transportation and heat sectors. All these causes will not benefit the environment. There need to be a balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
    There are a few ways to slow down climate change. For one, we can reduce the use of fossil fuels by using less energy or using energy sources that are nonpolluting- like solar and wind power. Solar and wind panels can be placed anywhere. I have seen wind panels on the roofs of supermarkets like Trader Joe’s. Solar panels can also be placed on any kind of roof- a house, a supermarket, a place of worship, etc.. Usually when I go to New Jersey, the roofs of houses are filled with solar panels. It’s an effortless and simple way to help stop climate change. On the plus side, it also can save you a couple of dollars. Another way to slow down climate change is by planting trees. Trees absorb a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide and they release oxygen. There are many beneficial organizations that go to community parks and plant multiple trees. Organizations like these should be acknowledged for their work. I strongly urge everyone to volunteer with a plant a tree organization at least once in a lifetime. Planting a tree in your backyard will also assist in helping the earth. Another strategy to help stop climate change is to reduce waste. The three R’s that we know and love will help us in the long run. Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the three words that we were taught to chant back in first grade. Reduce the amount of equipment and goods that you buy. When printing, always be sure to print on both sides of the sheet of paper. Reuse the goods you buy. Donating old clothing to charities, saving plastic and paper bags, and repairing broken goods will go a long way. Finally, recycle your goods (metal, plastic, glass). Make sure the items that you buy are market with a recycling symbol. The recycling symbol carries two meanings- the item can either be recycled after use or the item was made from a previously recycled item. The fourth and final strategy is to conserve water. Turn off the water when it is not being used. Train yourself to brush your teeth with the water off, and then turn it back on when you are ready to rinse. When using water, energy use increases; therefore, when saving water, energy use reduces. Climate change can easily be reduced or completely eliminated if we learn how to use these strategies in our daily life. We need to all come together and help save our planet.

  15. When I first heard about global warming, I did not fully understand its ramifications and effects on the Earths climate. Over time, I discovered the top causes of climate change range across different sectors of human activity and are not just from burning fossil fuels. What I discovered to be the most discouraging is that many of these contributing factors are overwhelmingly influenced by politics and big business. The effort needed to change these policies for a more sustainable future can seem incredibly daunting and hopeless when the bottom line remains in the interests of generating wealth. I’m not discrediting the impact of the major steps that have been made towards change, such as the Paris Agreement, but trying to narrow down a proactive solution as an individual can be challenging. We can start by thinking about how we can integrate the three R’s (reducing, reusing, and recycling) into our daily lives in more ways than one.

    I’ve learned about how much of an impact reducing the consumption of animal products has on the environment and our health. It also negatively effects our most important resources; water, soil, air, and land. In more ways than one, animal agriculture has become a leading contributor to global warming. According to a 2006 study by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide from animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, while transportation exhaust alone amounts to 13%. We’ve all heard that we should save water by reducing our usage in our homes, but we don’t usually hear about how much water is used for the meat in our fridge. As a nation, we consume 5% of our water supply while 55% is used for animal agriculture. On average, it takes about 1,300 gallons of water to produce one burger. A single cow generally drinks 45-60 gallons of water per day. That is an astounding amount of water just for one cow. According to a Stanford Law Journal on animal agriculture, “Animal agriculture consumes on average 55 trillion gallons of water annually—more than 520 times the water used in hydraulic fracturing.” Aside from water usage, another major environmental concern with animal agriculture is the amount of rainforest that is depleted each year. With regard to deforestation, the World Bank has found that animal agriculture is responsible for roughly 90% of the razing of the Brazilian Amazon.

    These are some of the major reasons that initiated my transition into a plant based diet. I have also come to find that transitioning has never been easier than it is today. There are so many affordable, plant based alternatives to beef and chicken in our stores that are not only tasty, but much healthier and environmentally friendly (Gardein and Beyond Meat). My daily impact towards reversing the effects of climate change is by boycotting the animal agriculture industry. I hope that we can all find a way to be proactive in participating towards sustaining a better future for us, our planet, and our generations to come.

  16. Elsy Ruby says:

    I believe waste is an important factor that many people don’t contribute to. Garbage has grown 11.2 billion meter tones of solid waste around the world. We all know that garbage produces illnesses, infection, ground water pollution and GHG emission etc. A way to reduce waste is by recycling. I believe recycling is a way to have a cleaner earth and a greener future. Years from now they have started providing recycle bin in school, stores and on streets.

    As a student teacher I have learned to recycle certain things that can be re-used for art activity in the day care where I work. At home I save the egg carton, bottles or any type of paper, etc. My family re-used certain food that comes in packages of good quality. For example, some coffee come pack in a glass jar. We can re-used the glass jar to put sugar, beans or anything else. We as a whole should recycle and remanufacture as much as possible for a durable earth and a healthy earth.

    Another problem that needs to be fix is agriculture waste. Reducing agriculture waste provides a greener future. Nearly 50% of the food produce is lost through crops loss and waste during storage. I used to work at fresh-direct for 5 years. During those years the company piled 20 boxes of wastes food. For example, potatoes chips would rip off easily or cereal boxes would bend and for those types of damage it will be thrown away. But since a lot of food was being thrown away the company started donating. The company also started to sell the damage food to their own employees on a good deal. There were some employees who would eat the damage product without permission. Honestly, who would not eat the damage product knowing it was going to be thrown away. It is sad watching how many food is being waste. Therefore, as a whole team we started organizing the items well In order to not damage others food. Also, being careful when grabbing the items to not let it drop. I believe working. as a team we can accomplished lot more.

  17. Bomin Kim says:

    Currently, I am majoring in Earth and Environmental Studies in Brooklyn College in hopes that I can secure a career within Environmental sciences. Already I reflect on my personal choices with the reflection of environmental and humanity benefits. The reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle motto already become second nature. I try to buy things with in mind its reusability and how will my choices will impact others. I will try to repair many of my electronics before I decide to take them to the recycling center. If I do buy disposable items, I questioned are these items biodegradable or recyclable. My all in one soap and facial wash are biodegradable. I tend to have hoarding tendencies where I hope to reuse what most people consider junk for other uses. I have made costumes and costume props from leftover fabrics and packaging cardboard. However since I live in an apartment in New York City, my options are limited since my space is limited.

    Another mantra I have picked up over time, leave no trace. This motto practiced by Bureau of Land Management, United States of Forestry, and National Park Service. I have traveled in an area where leave no trace is paramount in order to preserve the land. When I do camp or hike, I force myself to follow this mantra. I carefully pack my supplies and figure out where to go to the bathroom, how to minimize trash, and where am I going. These questions force me to figure out how to minimize my impact on my surroundings. This personal exercise helps to engage others on a personal level and help others to understand how to minimize their own lives.

    As a daughter of immigrant parents, my parents came to the country for a better financial opportunity for myself. They believed that as a woman, I would have a better equal opportunity in the US than in Korea. They both grew up when Korea was considered a developing country, whereas now the country is considered developed and in some ways technological infrastructure such as the internet speed has surpassed United States’ infrastructure. This happened relatively in a small period of time. Samsung and LG have become a behemoth in tech world. My dad has said that his family was the first to have television and people in the neighborhood would amass to watch television in his house. There would be twenty to thirty people cramped in the room in order to latest Korean soap opera. Today, Korean drama and films have seen a huge increase and become a cultural phenomenon across Asia and even to the western part of the world. Even though I grew up largely in the United States. I came to this country when I was a toddler. I had access to first-hand accounts that told stories of developing world and access to Korean news. I also have first-hand accounts of New York City history during the 70s and 80s where my dad side of the family started to immigrate to this country. I always considered my family history interesting history and I am very proud of that. I hope that in understanding my own family account of developing world, I can also understand and perhaps even help current developing countries woes.

    I mentioned earlier that I hope to secure a career in environmental sciences. However, I do not know what specific path to take. I hope to do well in my undergrad studies in order to attend master programs. I am unsure what master programs to follow and within my head, I am at a crossroad between two paths. Whether the path is to continue the environmental science for master and hopes in becoming an environmental scientist in specializing GIS programs, or law school and hopes in becoming environmental law and policy. The main difference, in my opinion, former informs policymakers and global citizens, and the later creates the policies that dictate nations, businesses, and citizens. The worlds and its inhabitants need both to continue survival in this globalized world. My focus on undergrad studies is to become science literate. That scientific literacy is needed more than ever. This statement does not necessary mean that we need more scientists, but rather general populace needs to be able to fact check, to understand scientific papers, and to question with reason and heart. The lure towards law schools stems from a need for policymakers and lawyers to understand science. That science is not based on the whim of people, but observation and careful analysis that lead to the closest possible understanding of the truth. The people, who will create policies and law or have voting power, needs to be able to understand science. What will I do to change the world? I will try to find the truth or best possible conclusions, and to make reasoned and unbiased decisions based on factual information. Thus by doing this, no matter what path I take, I can better mankind and my ecological surroundings.

  18. Cesar De La Cruz says:

    There is a dynamic interaction going on between these 41 indicators and the hundreds more that weren’t mentioned like Jack aforementioned. These indicator along with the water cycle helps us understand what is going on in our planet. Although the tools we posses to rationalize the possibility of another ice age have limits we can theorize the outcomes with IPAT. But whats theory without experimentation and why not take a more aggressive route to a solution from results of that experimentation. Our society has put our very existence on the back burner more interested in the latest fashion trend than the mere five degree shift needed to begin a new ice age. WAKE UP WORLD!!!

  19. Halyna Nychay says:

    Agriculture is highly dependent on specific climate conditions. Trying to understand the overall effect of climate change on our food supply can be difficult. Increases in temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) can be helpful for some crops in some places. Changes in the frequency of dryness and floods could pose challenges for farmers. Climate change could make it more difficult to grow crops, raise animals, and catch fish in the same ways and same places as we have done in the past. The effects of climate change also need to be considered along with other evolving factors that affect agricultural production, such as changes in farming practices and technology.

  20. Nataliya Balkova says:

    About 25% of carbon dioxide emissions, are produced by agricultural sources, mainly deforestation.Agriculture has a lot to do with climate change and it affects it in many ways. Many type of human activities of land use has caused changes in Earth’s climate. One of the main problem we have is cutting down the forest have led to changes in the amount of sunlight reflected from the ground back into space.The replacement of forest with agricultural farming and cropping .In winter when snow falls down on the grown it reflects snow-covered open ground reflects about two-thirds when we have trees and the snow falls down on them it reflects way more light. Trees also give water vapor and transpiration without them we have less vapor and it influences the climate. I tried doing something about that and i came up with idea to plant more tress around my house this way in some way i can help or to slow down the climate change .Also with farming and agriculture comes machines that many use to help them farm and with that comes more pollution and increased carbon concentrations in the atmosphere.

  21. Joshua Hoffman says:

    I think that the most important indicator to watch for is population growth. I feel that this is the most important one for two main reasons. As of 2015 the world has undergone massive changes. The only thing that I know that will happen tomorrow is that people are will be born(0r pass away), and the population will increase(0r decrease). This can be problematic because in 2030, there might be more people than resource available, hence there will be serious geopolitical issues. The key to preparing is to know what to prepare for. Therefore it is extremely important to have ACURATE information on population growth.

  22. Fatimah Alrashdi says:

    I read this article about world bank data and the comments that related to this post is attracted me especially, the one that written by Jennifer Ward. It is really interesting! she talks about ” Investment in telecoms” and how it affects our planet. Jennifer mentions three apps that are easily existed in our devices. actually, I have not heard about two of them which are, EveryDropLA, Urban Heat Risk Explorer. However I like them because we are in time that everyone has smart phone which can easily use apps and can also participate to be effective member to save our environment and be aware about climate change, so we can help to save water and electricity by simple ways. The last app that she mentioned is Uber, i use this app sometimes, It is a good app for people who live in crowded place as NYC, all you can do it just make a request and point the place that you in and the place you would like to go and the car will come in your spot that app save the time and save the gas as well ,because there are many Uber cars in different places and the car that could come to you it is nearby your location so that also prevent the crowded in highways. I highly recommend apps like these because it is easily used and can help a lot in the issue of climate change.

  23. Damani says:

    All of the indicators listed has a vital part in dealing with Climate Change, however when talking about clean improved water and how it is very important for survival for every living thing, Water can be seen as one of the most important thing one needs for survival. Based on the World’s Bank Data for poor countries that have always faced hydrologic variability, climate change will make dihydrogen monoxide(water) security even more arduous and costly to achieve. Climate change may additionally reintroduce dihydrogen monoxide(water) security challenges in countries that for a hundred years have relished reliable water supplies and few, if any, dihydrogen monoxide shocks. Much of the developing world will have to cope with droughts and/or the growing risk of flooding. Currently, 1.6 billion people live in countries and regions with absolute dihydrogen monoxide scarcity and the number is expected to elevate to 2.8 billion people by 2025. Managing dihydrogen monoxide resources utilizing an integrated approach will be critical to mitigate convivial, economic and environmental impacts. Coastal zone management, dihydrogen monoxide supply, and infrastructure as well as agriculture will all be affected. The effects on natural systems will be widespread: from expedited glacier melt, altered precipitation, runoff, and groundwater recharge patterns, to extreme droughts and floods, dihydrogen monoxide quality changes, saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers and transmutes in dihydrogen monoxide use.

  24. Erik Gholizadeh says:

    The methane emission indicator strikes me as being of great importance because my father is a rancher. Just over the weekend we attended a livestock auction and he purchased two new cows and a calf. Methane is the second largest constituent greenhouse gas. The United States is the largest producer of natural gas. The largest component of this natural gas is methane. Methane is produced by a number of different methods. The agriculture sector is the largest emitter of methane, and 10% is attributed to the management of manure produced by livestock alone.
    One controverisal method by which methane is obtained is by hydraulic fracturing. A significant amount of methane escapes from wells as well as from large equipment used in the process. Methane emission from livestock is considered a human contribution because livestock are intended for consumption by humans.

  25. Sam Singer says:

    One indicator that stuck out to me in particular were the annual water withdrawals all over the world. This is a very important part of climate change to keep our eyes on because such a small percentage of the earths total water is actually fresh and drinkable. The vast majority of our fresh water sources are sustainable such as lakes and reservoirs which refill themselves due to precipitation, however climate change is altering the means by which many people have come to rely on to get the drinking water they need. As the population increases, there is a growing demand for drinkable water, yet, as the population increases so too do the demand for crops that demand fresh water to be sustained such as rice or wheat. What makes matters worse as the population increases so too does the rate of fresh water becoming polluted due to to infrastructures (particularly in developing countries) becoming unable to sustain their population. As we increase industry to meet the demand of the ever growing population of the world, we see that the climate is reacting to the increase in CO2 levels and many countries are seeing drastic drops in fresh water levels. Places like India, Bangladesh, China, and even the USA are experiencing massive levels of decline in fresh water. Here in New York we don’t experience this drought due to the relatively reliable rain seasons as well as the many reservoirs we have here in New York State, but across the country in California there is a major crisis that has nearly reached a point of serious catastrophe. We will continue to see our fresh water levels decline all over the world unless we take note of climate change and take it a lot more seriously in the next five to ten years. Here is some data taken from

    97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water

    Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use.

    Only ~1% of the world’s fresh water is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis.

  26. Sharon Cruz says:

    When I look at the list of indicators that relate to climate change I realize they are all important but one that really stands out to me is “Forest Area.” I know forests influence climate change by affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and releasing clean oxygen into the air, but I wanted to get more information as to other ways forests affect climate change. I learned when forests grow, carbon is removed from the atmosphere and absorbed in wood, leaves and soil. When forests absorb and store carbon over time, they are considered “carbon sinks”. This carbon remains stored in the forest ecosystem, but can be released into the atmosphere when forests are burned. According to data on http://wildland-fires.findthedata.com/, there were 67,774 wildfires in 2012 and 9.33 million acres burned. Another way forests are being destroyed, is by humans chopping down trees without growing more to compensate for the damage they are doing. Other factors that relate directly to forests and climate change is warmer temperatures, changes in precipitation, and increased droughts have made forests more susceptible to insect infestation and disease. Forests, like other ecosystems, are affected by climate change, be it deforestation, loss of trees or insect infestation. Many of these impacts are negative towards our climate, in turn affecting our world and future generations. We need to do all we can to prevent the deterioration of our forests.

  27. Cassandra Borgella says:

    One of the indicators that stand out to me is “Access to Electricity.” It is true that most of us believe this is a trivial matter. However, electricity is still scarce in certain areas; as of 2010 only 83% of the population has access to electricity.
    In class, I recently saw a short film called The Quest for Energy. It detailed the life of those in the Sundabarans, a small country previously without electricity. In very short period of time that changed. Instead of using fossil fuels, the people of the Sundabarans used alternative energy sources to provide power into buildings. Not only did they have solar panels, they also melted wood, mixed manure and melted kerosene; all of which produce a zero carbon footprint. Many countries still have very little access to electricity, like Chad (3.5%), Liberia (4.1%), Mali (16.6) and Rwanda (10.8%). We an positively affect these countries by not only giving them access to electricity, but making sure none of it comes from fossil fuels. This in turn will dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and in the long run save money for all through subsidization.
    In order to reduce emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases, we must remove our dependency on fossil fuels (coal, methane, and gas). The Quest for Energy has shown that there are different and inexpensive ways to cook and warm up your home and provide lights for your building.

  28. Aeshah says:

    The effects of climate change are beginning to be clear through disasters (floods, droughts, storms, fires …) growing dramatically. The Four Seasons has become more and more unbalanced such as different amounts of snow and rainfall in different region .
    These changes can lead to consequences up to the extinction of many species of plants and animals, which are threatened by pollution . As well, although that human beings are not threatened in the same way, except that human life has become to face various difficulties.

  29. Mai says:

    Since we are paying attention to avoids the climate change by recycling whatever it is, we might also used the sanitation after liquidation. It can be used for planets because it has a lot of natural compounds to help growth.

  30. Bryan Pierre says:

    All of these indicators are important and are significant to the subject of climate change, some more important than others. However, an indicator that I think would go under the radar is the “Population living in areas where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total population)” indicator. Those who reside in areas of elevation below 5 meters are closer to our water and sewage systems, as well as the fact that they live on more fertile land. Both our water system and our land fertility have extreme importance, and it is obvious that those who live in areas where elevation is below 5 meters, have more accountability and responsibility to care for those systems. This is an indicator that although may not seem as important as the rest, has subtle but very extreme significance and should be supervised to a more certain extent for the betterment of our environment.

  31. Ghadeer says:

    I am totally agree with Asma. However, I want to add a little things to what she had said; deforestation which a part of forest area. Nowadays, countless number of trees are cutting down which can drive to climate change. More specific, trees help to absorb many greenhouse gases so cutting them lead to increase those gases in the atmosphere as a result that will cause warm temperature. In addition, forest trees can protect the soil from getting dry but by deforestation the area will become desert which no more rain and high degree temperatures.

  32. Jennifer Ward says:

    When it comes to analyzing indicators of climate change, perhaps the one that I find the most interesting is that of “Investment in telecoms”. Could it be possible that our phones and the way we interact with apps actually help us battle the effects of climate change? I decided to research this idea further and after extensive articles, have narrowed this comment down to my three favorite ways that investing in telecommunication can help save the planet: EveryDropLA, Urban Heat Risk Explorer and Uber. What I love about these three apps are that they are easily accessible to anyone with a smart phone and are powerful enough to help change the planets trajectory.

    Water conservation is one thing that is very near to my heart. I am originally from Lake Tahoe in California and I grew up taking advantage of the mountains of snow that the Sierra Mountains are known for. Lots of people flock to California for the beautiful sunny weather while they enjoy their favorite winter sports; in 2011 I had 13 feet of snow in my driveway. However, the past two years, barely any snow has fallen in California. My hometown was experiencing 80 degree weather in January due to climate change. The entire economy of Lake Tahoe is starting to deteriorate because it depends on the tourism that the snow activities create. Because of the drought that has hit California, lots of mitigation and action is taking place to conserve water. One App that is supposed to help the California drought is EveryDropLA which according to their website, “allows users to identify and report water waste directly, view instances of water waste around them, receive alerts to conserve when essential, educate themselves on water conservation, and engage the water community through social media.” I think that it is fantastic that there is a simple app that everyone can download to their phones to help conserve water and hopefully will in turn create a chain reaction that will bring the snow back to the Sierra mountains.

    The second app that I think is extremely powerful to fight climate change is one that us city dwellers can take advantage of. Everyone who has ever lived a summer in New York City knows that there is little to no escape from the blistering heat that the mix of humidity, pollution and sun create. That’s where the app Urban Heat Risk Explorer comes in. A runner- up in a contest for apps to help negate climate change, “Urban Heat Risk Explorer Helping cities prepare for, respond to and recover from extreme heat events, the app provides users with a better understanding of heat risks in cities and communicates with users on ways they can protect themselves during extreme heat events.” To know which areas to avoid in the city at certain times of day, where to go for shade, and what to do so that you don’t get heat exhaustion, is extremely valuable because it will help minimize the use of air conditioners which are a large waste of energy.

    Lastly, one app that I personally love is Uber. Uber is a car service where the user can set their coordinates to precisely where they are, set it to where they need to go, and cars will pick them up and take them without the hassle of having to flag down a car. Uber is helping revolutionize fighting climate change, because it limits useless idling, and minimizes wasting gas by taking roads that are out of way. According to their website, Uber’s newest initiative is UberPOOL. “With uberPOOL the company has the ability to further reduce traffic and congestion, potentially lowering pollution, and providing a real economic alternative to car ownership for the largest number of possible customers. Most cars sit idle 95% of the time. Does that really make economic or environmental sense?” I love the idea that Uber has not only saved me multiple times, but is in turn helping to save the planet.

    In conclusion, we live in very important time: We are at a fork in the road with our planet and action must take place to save it. Also, we live in a time where technology is taking over our lives. Our phones and their applications are not going to be going anywhere anytime soon, and that is why I think that investing in telecoms is a very unique and interesting indicator for climate change. Through the use of apps like EveryDropLA, Urban Heat Risk Explorer and Uber, citizens can make small choices to help our planet.

  33. Asma says:

    many indicators are related to the climate change one of them is decrease in the forest area.
    in fact, climate change is affect the productivity of forest also the high temperature can cause shift the geographic ranges of certain tree species.However, certain tree might die out because it can not be shifted if their geographic range is at risk and not no longer suitable . the other impact of climate change on forest is the lack of water which trees needs and that result in draught and increase the risk of wildfire as the dry tree provides fuel to fires.

  34. Priscilla Naraine says:

    There are many important indicators that need to be addressed since it can relate to climate change. Those most important ones are sanitation facilities, water source, CO2 emission, access to electricity and agriculture land. Without having a clean environment, people would be immune to illness that can cause a great number of people who are sickly ill. Second, a non-contaminated water source is very important for any country or state due to the absence of metals such as copper, lead or nitrite. Thirdly, CO2 emission is harmful to the environment and can cause global warming. Lastly, electricity and agriculture land is important for a village or country to do their daily routines in order to survive.

  35. Jack Edelman says:

    Regarding world bank data, you mentioned agricultural aspects such as cereal/grain yield and conservation of water which is needed for crop cultivation. Here is something interesting—with genetically modified crops, we can grow crops with bigger yields, higher sugar and protein contents, rice with vitamin A/beta carotene, etc. to make the world a healthier, less hunger/starvation situation! Yet with all those potential advantages, many people are AGAINST GMO foods! From what I understand, there are NO GMO foods grown or sold at all anywhere in Europe. So here we have modern biotechnology, with a chance to solve or at least mitigate the world’s hunger problems, and yet people, nations, and entire continents are against it! Sounds counterproductive! Doesn’t make any sense to me! You have the technology to save lives and/or improve the human condition, yet we do whatever we can to prevent that from happening! Am I missing something here????

  36. James Lee says:

    The indicator Improved sanitation facilities relates to Climate Change because sanitation is very important towards the climate. The more we clear our wastes and recycle, the better the air quality and in return will lead to a better overall climate for that area. Cities that have less sanitation will create toxins and poor air quality. More garbage laying around causes more disruptions on roads and walking areas. In NYC, recycling is definitely not a problem as I see many people recycling (picking up bottles and glass.) Of course people do it to get money in return, not because they really care for recycling or the environment. However it is still nice to know that bottles won’t be laying around for long in the city.

  37. Jack Edelman says:

    YES—there are MANY factors or indicators regarding climate change as listed in the information above. The professor noted there are about 41, but if you want to get very specific you can probably find HUNDREDS or even more! I think that many or most of these indicators can be combined together as they “blend” into each other—you don;t know where the boundaries are between most of them, for example, between global warming and CO2 emissions, or between air pollution and acid rain. The “boundaries” between these many of these indicators are fuzzy and unclear. When you think of it carefully, isn’t CO2 emissions a subset of air pollution? And isn’t acid rain formation a subset of air pollution????
    I remember many years ago there was a vice presidential debate on TV between Al Gore and I think it was Dan Quayle. They were arguing about Al Gore’s recent book regarding the environment and conservation. Al Gore said his book stated something (whatever it was!) and his opponent stated that he read the book and it did NOT state that. They were arguing over it for about ten minutes! I began to wonder if the public even read the book, and if they even CARED what the book said or didn’t say! The public, I believe, at least the average layman, doesn’t really care about environmental issues! All they care about, at least the average Joe, is MONEY! When they can no longer breathe the air, or drink the water, THEN they will begin to care!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *