The following pages contain a Factfulness Quiz on the Climate Crisis:

  1. Climate Quiz (Questions only)
  2. Climate Quiz (Questions & Answers)
  3. Climate Quiz (Questions, Answers, and Comments)

You can print out a paper version of the quiz (see link 1 above), which you can hand-out to your audience, using the “Print Friendly” button at the bottom of the website.

The quiz was inspired by Professor Hans Rosling’s [1] Factfulness Quiz on global health [2]. He used to educate his students and the rest of society, especially decision-makers, on fundamental facts and predictions on global health, but also on their pre-conceptions and biases using a quiz format. Thereby, he also  demonstrated the need for continued education to make the right decisions in a fast-changing world.

The following Factfulness Quiz on the Climate Crisis is a subjective selection of questions, which, however, follows a “narrative” supporting the conclusion of UN secretary-general António Guterres, that we experience a “direct existential threat” [3]. The “narrative” here is a connected set of facts, predictions, or expert opinions based on empirical science, which are relevant in the context of human biology and culture. The information was selected with due caution to make sure it is reliable, valid and representative, and can be traced back to its source publication.

Disclaimer: Wilmar Igl is a statistician and has training as a researcher on post-doctoral level in genetic epidemiology, but is not an expert or professional in climate-related research. Any feedback welcome!

Errata:

  1. 2019-07-11: In Question 6, the “range” of the increase of the global mean surface temperature was previously interpreted as interquartile range, ie as the 50% uncertainty interval with the 25% quantile as lower and the 75% quantile as upper limit.  After personal communication with scientists of the Climate Action Tracker organization, the interpretation was updated to an approximate 67% confidence interval with the 16% quantile as the lower limit and the 82.5% quantile as the upper limit corresponding to the likely range of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. References:
    • Geiges, A. (2019-07-09, 2019-07-16). Re: Warming Projections Global Update, Dec 2018: Statistics [Personal Communication by Email].
    • Mastrandrea, M.D. et al (2010-06-07). Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties. https://wg1.ipcc.ch/SR/documents/ar5_uncertainty-guidance-note.pdf
  2. 2019-07-14: In Question 7, I quoted the estimated carrying capacity of “hothouse earth” (> 4 degrees Celsius) for humans from a presentation by Prof. William Steffen, which coincided with the estimate by Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, ie  1 billion (1E9) humans. After personal communication, Prof. Steffen replied that he had used Prof. Schellnhuber’s estimate. This means, the two estimates are not independent predictions, but – in my opinion – can be interpreted in the way,  that Prof. Steffen supports the estimate by Prof. Schellnhuber as plausible. References.
    • Steffen, W. (2019-07-14). Re: Factfulness quiz on climate – Carrying capacity [Personal Communication by Email].

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Rosling
  2. http://factfulnessquiz.com
  3. https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2018-09-10/secretary-generals-remarks-climate-change-delivered
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