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:
|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, draughts, 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.