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Scary graphic of the day: Asia's booming coal consumption

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The Energy Information Administration has released animated graphics of Asia's skyrocketing coal consumption that provides a rather sobering glimpse of damage already done and what's to come.

The Energy Information Administration has released animated graphics of Asia's skyrocketing coal consumption that provides a rather sobering glimpse of damage already done and what's to come. That is, if coal consumption continues its current pace.

Global coal demand has almost doubled since 1980, largely driven by increases in Asia where demand is up -- wait for it -- 400 percent from 30 years ago. The Asian boom is primarily a China story, a country where demand increased almost five-fold between 1980 and 2010 and accounted for 73 percent of Asia's consumption, according to EIA data. China accounted for almost half of coal consumption globally in 2010. Now consider China's economic growth rate, which has consistently expanded 10 percent annually until just recently.

Screenshots of the infographics have been added below. Click here to be redirected to the animated versions.

This infographic shows China's coal consumption, which far outpaces other Asian countries.

Photo: Photo: Flickr user fung leo, CC 2.0

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Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure