Climate Change Quiz: How Informed Are You?

Climate change is happening. I prefer to call it “climate instability” because what we are really talking about is unpredictable, extreme weather thanks to warmer annual temperatures. Think record-breakers, like the historic deluge that just dumped on the East Coast this week or the seemingly never-ending drought in California. Scientists have amassed a database with over 26,000 biological and physical indictors telling us that there little doubt that our planet is warming and that the trend is heading in a very dangerous direction.

Solving the climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges—if not the biggest—ever faced by humanity and thus it is important that citizens across the globe educate themselves about the facts. Take this quiz to see how much you do or do not know about climate science and public policy.

 

Climate Change Quiz: How Informed Are You?

Question 1
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed which year?
A
1972
B
1988
C
1997
D
2000
Question 2
The world’s first and to date only agreement between nations to cut greenhouse-gas emissions is called:
A
Marrakesh Agreement
B
Copenhagen Accord
C
Kyoto Protocol
D
Bali Action Plan
Question 3
Which of these greenhouse gases is the most prevalent in the atmosphere?  
A
Water vapor
B
Methane
C
Nitrous oxide
D
Carbon dioxide
Question 4

ThinkstockPhotos-481884182

Which of the following activities contributes most to global warming?

A
Agriculture
B
Transportation
C
Deforestation
D
Energy supply
Question 5
Is ozone good or bad for humans?
A
Neither – it is neutral
B
Good
C
Bad
D
Both
Question 6

grey sky air pollution smoke stacks

If sea levels rise one-yard how many people will likely be displaced worldwide?

A
1 million
B
10 million
C
100 million
D
10 billion
Question 7
The world’s oceans are predicted to rise how much by the end of this century?
A
1 – 3 inches
B
5 – 10 inches
C
7 – 23 inches
D
23 – 30 inches
Question 7 Explanation: 
Since 1880, oceans have already risen 8-10 inches! If carbon emissions continue unabated, sea levels could rise three feet by 2100. Such predictions are dire since half of the world’s population lives within 37 miles of the sea, and 3/4 of all large cities are located on the coast, according to the United Nations. More bad news for the United States: sea levels are rising three to four times faster along parts of the East Coast than they are globally.
Question 8
In the United States, how much methane is from farting and belching cows?
A
None – and you are gross for asking!
B
about 2 percent
C
about 12 percent
D
about 20 percent
Question 9
Who was the first person to connect the burning of fuels and a warming planet?
A
Swede, Svante Arrenius, in 1896
B
Norwegian, Vihelm Bjerknes in 1933
C
American, James Hansen, 1972
D
German, Fritz Moller in 1953
Question 10
Planet Earth is now experiencing extinction levels that are the worst since the great die-off of the dinosaurs. True or False?
A
True
B
False
Question 11
According to NASA data, how many of the top ten hottest years occurred in the past ten years?
A
None
B
One
C
Six
D
Nine
Question 12
How many pounds of carbon dioxide are released from the burning of one gallon of gasoline?
A
About 1 lb.
B
About 5 lbs.
C
About 10 lbs.
D
About 20 lbs.
Question 13

ThinkstockPhotos-186767766

What does COP21 refer to?

A
Conference of Parties meeting for the 21st time
B
21st Century climate change predictions by NASA
C
Policing/enforcement efforts on greenhouse gases in the 21st century
D
French for predicted climate changes in the 21st century
Question 14

When and where is the next big climate summit?

A
Kyoto, 2016
B
Copenhagen, 2015
C
Paris, 2015
D
London, 2017
Question 15

How many nations are meeting at the next Climate Summit?

A
About 90
B
About 190
C
About 290
D
Only the 6 biggest polluters
Question 16
0d1a716b4f3b268cffaefdaea616fe18   At the next Climate Summit, efforts are being made to create a legally-binding treaty. Which commitments (you can choose more than one) have already been made?
A
The U.S. will cut its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2025.
B
China will lower carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 – 65 percent from 2005 levels.
C
The E.U. will cut is emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030.
D
Australia will implement an economy-wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
E
No commitments have been made
Question 17

On current emission trajectories, our planet will warm how many degrees in the next century?

A
2 degrees
B
5 degrees
C
10 degrees
D
None, as another mini ice-age is predicted
Question 18

CANE2015 with legislators

Who recently said in New York at the U.N. General Assembly that the upcoming 2015 Climate Summit is the “last chance to save the planet.”

 
A
Al Gore
B
Donald Trump
C
French President, Francois Hollande
D
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe
Question 19

From 1800 to 2012, atmospheric CO2 increased by how much?

A
5 percent
B
25 percent
C
40 percent
D
80 percent
Question 20

April 2014 was the first month that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere went above:

A
150 ppb
B
350 ppb
C
400 ppb
D
850 ppb
There are 20 questions to complete.

 

You can find the answers, sources and more information about climate change on the next page.

THE ANSWERS

 

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1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed which year?

d. 1988

2. The world’s first and to date only agreement between nations to cut greenhouse-gas emissions is called:

c. Kyoto Protocol

3. Which of these greenhouse gases is the most prevalent in the atmosphere?

a. Water vapor

4. Which of the following activities contributes most to global warming?

d. Energy supply

According to the IPCC, energy supply produces 25.9 percent of carbon emissions followed by industry (19.4 percent), forestry (17.4  percent), agriculture (13.5 percent), transport (13.1 percent), residential and commercial buildings (7.9 percent), waste and wastewater (2.8 percent).

5. Is ozone good or bad for humans?

d. Both

This can be confusing, but ozone in the stratosphere is good as it protects us from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but bad when found at the ground level, where we breathe. The main ingredient in smog is ozone and when this gas enters our lungs it can cause a chemical sunburn on our sensitive respiratory tissues.

 

Asthma boy

6. If sea levels rise one yard how many people could be displaced worldwide?

c. 100 million

7.  The world’s oceans are predicted to rise how much by the end of this century?

c. 7 – 23 inches

 Since 1880, oceans have already risen 8 to 10 inches. If carbon emissions continue unabated, sea levels could rise three feet by 2100.

Such predictions are dire since half of the world’s population lives within 37 miles of the sea, and 3/4 of all large cities are located on the coast, according to the United Nations. More bad news for the United States: sea levels are rising three to four times faster along parts of the East Coast than they are globally.

8. In the United States, how much methane is from farting and belching cows?

d. about 20 percent

9. Who was the first person to connect the burning of fuels and a warming planet?

a. Swede, Svante Arrenius, in 1896

John Tyndall, an Irish physicist, was the first to prove the Greenhouse Effect. Tyndall and Arrenius influenced each others work.

10.  Planet Earth is now experiencing extinction levels that are the worst since the great die-off of the dinosaurs.

True.

We are currently experiencing what is now called the Sixth Mass Extinction of plants and animals, the largest die-off since the extinction of the dinosaurs. Up to a dozen species are going extinct every day right now. Thus, we are looking at a future sometime in the next century, where it is very possibly that 30 to 50 percent of all species will be extinct due to human abuse of the planet.

11. According to NASA data, how many of the top ten hottest years occurred in the past ten years?

d. Nine

12. How many pounds of carbon dioxide are released from the burning of one gallon of gasoline?

d. about 20 lbs.

This seems counter-intuitive because a gallon of gas only weighs six pounds, but when it is burned it combines with oxygen molecules in the surrounding air, resulting in about 20 pounds of carbon being produced. For more details on this process click here.

Smoke and exhaust

13.  What does COP21 refer to?

a. Conference of Parties meeting for the 21st time

14. When and where is the next international Climate Summit?

c. Paris, 2015

To get involved in the upcoming Climate Summit in Paris, click here and here.  Your voice matters!

15. How many nations are meeting at the next Climate Summit?

b. About 190

16. At the next Climate Summit, efforts are being made to create a legally-binding treaty. Which commitments (you can choose more than one) have already been made?

All are true. Known as INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) every country coming to the Paris 2015 Climate Summit (COP21) is supposed to have one on the table. The U.S. will cut its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2025; China will lower carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 – 65 percent from 2005 levels; the E.U. will cut is emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030; and Australia will implement an economy-wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

For the official record on who has offered which commitments click here.

 

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17. On current emission trajectories, our planet will warm how many degrees in the next century?

b. 5 degrees

That may not sound like a big difference and day to day it isn’t, but we are talking about annual averages. For perspective, the temperature difference between today’s world and the last ice age was about 5 degrees (colder obviously)!

 

 

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18. Who recently said in New York at the U.N. General Assembly that the upcoming 2015 Climate Summit is the “last chance to save the planet”?

c. French President, Francois Hollande

19. From 1800 to 2012, atmospheric CO2 increased by how much?

c. 40 percent

Half of this increase in CO2 has been since 1970. The amount of methane, a much stronger greenhouse gas, has increased 150 percent!

20.  April 2014 was the first month that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere went above:

c. 400 ppb

This is the highest concentration of CO2 the atmosphere has held in 800,000 years—and possibly in 20 million years. Scientists say we must keep levels below 350 ppb if we are to keep the planet from warming less than 2 degrees, the generally accepted level to maintain a healthy planet. Check-out the organization, 350.org, which aims to keep carbon concentrations at this level or below.

I hope you enjoyed this quiz about climate change. Take what you have learned another step further. If you have not done so already, get engaged, be active and make your voice heard.

There are so many ways to get involved with being part of the solution:

 

Below,  is a great video by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who explains “that climate change deniers are entitled to their opinion. But that doesn’t mean they get a seat at the table with the grown-ups.”

 

 

129 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Patricia Harris
John Taylor2 years ago

This is too depressing......

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Neville B.
Neville B2 years ago

Very pleased to have gotten question 16 wrong (among others!) : )

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

I bombed out, will have to go back to school. Thank you for caring and sharing.

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Cherise U.
Cherise U.2 years ago

Try again, Andrea! I bet you know more now!

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Andrea H.
Andrea H2 years ago

Well, I failed.

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Karey Materi
Karey Materi2 years ago

oops me too 30%. I need to learn more!!!!!!!

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 2 years ago

Based upon my quiz results, not very much! Thanks!

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Shannon Milbourne

whoops got 10 right, trying again!

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