4.2 tons p.a. Population: 1.3 billion Brazil

2 tons p.a. Population: 190 million India

1.3 tons p.a. Population: 1.1 billion CARBON DIOXIDE PER PERSON

The size of the flags above indicates the average amount of carbon dioxide released per annum (p.a.) by each citizen of a few selected nations. The flags show that, although China burns more fossil fuel than any other country, the average carbon footprint of each Chinese citizen is relatively small.


Scientists study changes in Earth's climate by analyzing rock formations, ice cores, and plant growth over millions of years. The first weather records started in the 18th century, and methods of measuring atmospheric changes have only been developed in the last 150 years. This timeline tracks the events that have had a significant effect on Earth's climate and the techniques used to study them.

Model of Tyrannosaurus rex, which became extinct 65 million years ago

250 million years ago (mya) The biggest mass extinction in Earth's history destroys 96 percent of species living at the time. It is believed that massive volcanic eruptions released vast amounts of carbon dioxide that increased the greenhouse effect, causing serious global warming and making life on Earth almost impossible.

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