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late 19th century and is projected to keep going up. Since the early 20th century, Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two thirds of the increase occurring since 1980. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that most of it is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized nations.[A] Climate model projections are summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicate that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 2.9 °C (2 to 5.2 °F) for their lowestemissions scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 °C (4.3 to 11.5 °F) for their highest. The ranges of these estimates arise from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations.
An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, and a probable expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers,permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent occurrence ofextreme-weather events including heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall, species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes, and changes in crop yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, with projections being more robust in some areas than others. If global mean temperature increases to 4 °C above preindustrial levels, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world. Hence, theecosystem services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved. Most countries are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), whose ultimate objective is to prevent "dangerous" anthropogenic (i.e., human-induced) climate change. Parties to the UNFCCC have adopted a range of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:10:9 and to assist in adaptation to global warming.:13:10 Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed that deep cuts in emissions are required, and that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level.[B] A 2011 report of analyses by the United Nations Environment Programme and International Energy Agency suggest that efforts as of the early 21st century to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent to meet the UNFCCC's 2 °C target.
according to satellite temperature measurements. expressed as a linear trend.53 °C ranks just ahead of those of 2005 (+0.Observed temperature changes Main article: Instrumental temperature record Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions from climate proxies.74±0. versus 0.51 °C).4 °F) per decade since 1979.03 °C per decade.” ..22 and 0..52 °C) and 1998 (+0.. widespread melting of snow and ice.07±0. however. exceeding 1998 by a few hundredths of a degree.” The World Meteorological Organization(WMO) statement on the status of the global climate in 2010 explains that.  The Earth's average surface temperature. although the differences between the three years are not statistically significant.13±0. “The 2010 nominal value of +0. “the error estimate for individual years . Recent estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the National Climatic Data Center show that 2005 and 2010 tied for the planet's warmest year since reliable.18 °C over the period 1906–2005. is at least ten times larger than the differences between these three years. each smoothed on a decadal scale. The urban heat island effect is very small.13 and 0. behind 1998 with 2003 and 2010 tied for third warmest year.02 °C per decade).22 °C (0. and rising global average sea level.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900. rose by0. The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the period as a whole (0. with regionally varying fluctuations such as theMedieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Evidence for warming of the climate system includes observed increases in global average air and ocean temperatures. estimated to account for less than 0. widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 19th century. Climate proxies show the temperature to have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850.. Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased between 0. Estimates by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) show 2005 as the second warmest year. with theinstrumental temperature record overlaid in black.
a further warming of about 0.25 °C per decade against 0. Temperature changes vary over the globe.13 °C per decade). showing the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Temperatures in 1998 were unusually warm because global temperatures are affected by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). and the strongest El Niño in the past century occurred during that year. Climate commitment studies indicate that even if greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000 levels. Ocean temperatures increase more slowly than land temperatures because of the larger effective heat capacity of the oceans and because the ocean loses more heat by evaporation. Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings) . Over the more recent record. 2010 was also an El Niño year. 11 were the years from 2001 to 2011. 2011 as an La Niña year was cooler but it was still the 11th warmest year since records began in 1880. The thermal inertia of the oceans and slow responses of other indirect effects mean that climate can take centuries or longer to adjust to changes in forcing. Global temperature is subject to short-term fluctuations that overlay long term trends and can temporarily mask them.9 °F) would still occur. and was close to 1997 which was not at the lowest point of the cycle.5 °C (0. 2011 was the warmest "La Niña year" in the period from 1950 to 2011. On the low swing of the oscillation. Since 1979. Although more greenhouse gases are emitted in the Northern than Southern Hemisphere this does not contribute to the difference in warming because the major greenhouse gases persist long enough to mix between hemispheres. Of the 13 warmest years since 1880. land temperatures have increased about twice as fast as ocean temperatures (0. The relative stability in temperature from 2002 to 2009 is consistent with such an episode.NOAA graph of Global Annual Temperature Anomalies 1950–2011. The Northern Hemisphere warms faster than the Southern Hemisphere because it has more land and because it has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea-ice cover subject to ice-albedo feedback.
tropospheric ozone. Monthly CO2 measurements display seasonal oscillations in an upward trend. CFCs andnitrous oxide. methane.Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. Greenhouse effect. . which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect. known as the "Keeling Curve". volcanic eruptions. which causes 4– 9%. methane (CH4). particularlydeforestation. Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. and Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. carbon dioxide (CO2). Clouds also affect the radiation balance through cloud forcings similar to greenhouse gases.Greenhouse effect schematic showing energy flows between space. and earth's surface. Energy exchanges are expressed in watts per square meter (W/m2). These levels are much higher than at any time during the last 800.[C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor. leading to increased radiative forcing from CO2. Less direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values higher than this were last seen about 20 million years ago. but the 20th century instrumental temperature record shows a sudden rise in global temperatures. such asradiative forcing due to changes in atmospheric composition (mainly greenhouse gas concentrations). The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and 148% respectively since 1750. and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun. This graph. each year's maximum occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring. Climate responds to several types of external forcing. changes in solar luminosity. It was proposed by Joseph Fourierin 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores. Greenhouse gases Main articles: Greenhouse gas. and ozone (O3). Naturally occurring amounts of greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C(59 °F).000 years.:0Attribution of recent climate change focuses on the first three types of forcing. External forcing refers to processes external to the climate system (though not necessarily external to Earth) that influence climate. shows the long-term increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations from 1958–2008. Orbital cycles vary slowly over tens of thousands of years and at present are in an overall cooling trend which would be expected to lead towards an ice age. The rest of this increase is caused mostly by changes in land-use. which causes 3–7%. which causes 9–26%. and declines during its growing season as plants remove some atmospheric CO2. the atmosphere. Radiative forcing.
Reduced stratospheric ozone has had a slight cooling influence on surface temperatures. including land-use change. Attribution of emissions due to land-use change is a controversial issue. models suggest that by the year 2100. The two figures opposite show annual greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2005. estimates of changes in future emission levels of greenhouse gases. combined with modelling of the carbon cycle. including land-use change. Emission scenarios. emissions continue to rise over the century. CO2 emissions are continuing to rise due to the burning of fossil fuels and land-use change.e. In most scenarios. while in a few. have been used to produce estimates of how atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases might change in the future.:289 Emissions scenarios. Particulates and soot . Using the six IPCC SRES "marker" scenarios. Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. and will not limit carbon emissions in the 21st century. The popular media and the public often confuse global warming with ozone depletion. Over the last three decades of the 20th century. have been projected that depend upon uncertain economic. gross domestic product per capita and population growth were the main drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Although there are a few areas of linkage. the relationship between the two is not strong. and natural developments.Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. the destruction of stratospheric ozone by chlorofluorocarbons.:71 Emissions can be attributed to different regions. sociological. emissions are reduced. while increased tropospheric ozonehas had a somewhat larger warming effect. technological. Fossil fuel reserves are abundant. i. the atmospheric concentration of CO2 could range between 541 and 970 ppm.. This is an increase of 90–250% above the concentration in the year 1750. including land-use change.
 When deposited. Soot may cool or warm the surface. The effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion – CO2 and aerosols – have largely offset one another in recent decades. changes in particulate concentrations will only delay climate changes due to carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of a century or more. known as the Twomey effect. while the effects of greenhouse gases are dominant in the extratropics and southern hemisphere. Indirect effects of particulates represent the largest uncertainty in radiative forcing. such as rural India. which reduces growth of raindrops and makes the cloud more reflective to incoming sunlight. a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface. which exerts a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight. The climatic impacts from particulate forcing could have a large effect on climate through the indirect effect. Atmospheric soot directly absorb solar radiation. are most pronounced in the tropics and sub-tropics. Satellite observations of Total Solar Irradiance from 1979–2006. and as such. and have very little radiative effect on convective clouds.[dated info] The main cause of this dimming is particulates produced by volcanoes and human made pollutants. In isolated areas with high soot production. These clouds reflect solar radiation more efficiently than clouds with fewer and larger droplets.Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. which heats the atmosphere and cools the surface. particularly in Asia. depending on whether it is airborne or deposited. particulates have indirect effects on the radiation budget. Solar activity Main articles: Solar variation and Solar wind . as much as 50% of surface warming due to greenhouse gases may be masked by atmospheric brown clouds. so that net warming has been due to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane. In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation. the lower surface albedo can also directly heat the surface. Sulfates act as cloud condensation nuclei and thus lead to clouds that have more and smaller cloud droplets. Indirect effects are most noticeable in marine stratiform clouds. The influences of particulates. has partially counteracted global warming from 1960 to the present. Global dimming. This effect also causes droplets to be of more uniform size. including black carbon. known as the Albrecht effect.  Radiative forcing due to particulates is temporally limited due to wet deposition which causes them to have an atmospheric lifetime of one week. especially on glaciers or on ice in arctic regions.
Solar variations causing changes in solar radiation energy reaching the Earth have been the cause of past climate changes. is that magnetic activity of the sun deflects cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation nuclei and thereby affect the climate. Feedback Main article: Climate change feedback Feedback is a process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity. Discussing the fact that low amounts of solar activity between 2005 and 2010 had hardly any effect on global warming. A related hypothesis. because this provides unequivocal evidence that the sun is not the dominant driver of global warming. he supports the theory advanced by "nearly all climate scientists" including theIPCC. Positive feedback increases the change in the first quantity while negative feedback reduces it. Feedback is important in the study of global warming because it may amplify or diminish the effect of a particular process. but small. While there is not yet a definitive link between solar sunspot activity and global temperatures. that is. . but may be delayed to 2022 or even longer. with some studies showing a slight cooling effect. While both increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are expected to warm the troposphere. though there is greater uncertainty in the early radiosonde record. and the change in the second quantity in turn changes the first. which have been available since 1979. the scientists conducting the solar activity study believe that global greenhouse gas emissions would prevent any possible cold snap. Hansen says it is more evidence that geen house gases are the largest culprit. “ ” In line with other details mentioned above. Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways. Radiosonde (weather balloon) data show the stratosphere has cooled over the period since observations began (1958). proposed by Henrik Svensmark. The effect of changes in solar forcing in recent decades is uncertain. also show cooling.. and that the next solar cycle could be delayed. The influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover is about a factor of 100 lower than needed to explain the observed changes in clouds or to be a significant contributor to presentday climate change. It is even possible that Sol could be heading towards another Maunder Minimum.But it's worth noting. while others studies suggest a slight warming effect. The fact we still see a positive imbalance despite the prolonged solar minimum isn't a surprise given what we've learned about the climate system. To what extent is not yet clear. Solar Cycle 25 is due to start in 2020. Studies in 2011 have indicated that solar activity may be slowing. Satellite observations. director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen says that the sun is not nearly the biggest factor in global warming.. Other research has found no relation between warming in recent decades and cosmic rays. an increase in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase in greenhouse gases should cool the stratosphere.
the team made three extremely conservative assumptions: (1) that policymakers will embrace the A1B scenario instead of the A1FI scenario. the indirect effects would be 400% of the warming from the methane alone. potentialtipping points may exist. and (3) their model did not project additional temperature rise caused by the release of these additional gases. In 2011. (2) that all of the carbon would be released as carbon dioxide instead of methane. Consequentially. such as Arctic methane release and ice-albedo feedback. Once initiated. which is more likely and over a 20 year lifetime has 72x the greenhouse warming power of CO2. beyond human emissions. a joint study by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculated the additional greenhouse gas emissions that would emanate from melted and decomposing permafrost. The team found that even at the much lower level of human emissions. even if policymakers attempt to reduce human emissions from the A1FI scenario to the A1B scenario. For example. A wide range of potential feedback processes exist. The researchers found that a 2.A great deal of this permafrost carbon is actually being released as highly flammable methane instead of carbon dioxide. permafrost thawing and decomposition would still result in 190 Gt C of permafrost carbon being added to the atmosphere on top of the human sources. Other research published in 2011 found that increased emissions of methane could instigate significant feedbacks that amplify the warming attributable to the methane alone. The main negative feedback is radiative cooling through theStefan–Boltzmann law.5-fold increase in methane emissions would cause indirect effects that increase the warming 250% above that of the methane alone.The main positive feedback in the climate system is the water vapor feedback. These very conservative permafrost carbon dioxide emissions are equivalent to about 1/2 of all carbon released from fossil fuel burning since the dawn of the Industrial Age. but are instead emergent properties that result from the interactions of basic dynamical and thermodynamic processes. which increases as the fourth power of temperature. permafrost carbon forcing (PCF) is irreversible. Importantly. the "emission scenarios" used by IPCC in its 2007 report primarily examined greenhouse gas emissions from human sources. which may have the potential to cause abrupt climate change. is strong compared to other global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2. Positive and negative feedbacks are not imposed as assumptions in the models. and due to thermal inertia will continue for many years even if atmospheric warming stops.2-fold increase. and is enough to raise atmospheric concentrations by an additional 87±29 ppm. Climate models Main article: Global climate model . IPCC 2007's temperature projections did not take any of the permafrost carbon emissions into account and therefore underestimate the degree of expected climate change. For a 5.
Instead the models predict how greenhouse gases will interact with radiative transfer and other physical processes. cryosphere. temperature. chemical and biological processes. The geographic distribution of surface warming during the 21st century calculated by the HadCM3 climate model if a business as usual scenario is assumed for economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. and circulation. In this figure. and biosphere. and other atmospheric properties. greenhouse gas releases from permafrost. the uncertainty in IPCC's 2007 projections is caused by (1) the use of multiple models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations.4 °F). clouds. Such models are based on physical principles including fluid dynamics. There can be components which represent air movement.Calculations of global warming prepared in or before 2001 from a range of climate models under the SRES A2 emissions scenario. Although researchers attempt to include as many processes as possible.e. For example. salt content. which assumes no action is taken to reduce emissions and regionally divided economic development. i. the transfer of heat and moisture from soil and vegetation to the atmosphere. (2) the use of differing estimates of humanities' future greenhouse gas emissions.. ocean temperature. the globally averaged warming corresponds to 3. hydrosphere.0 °C (5. and others. land surface. A climate model is a computerized representation of the five components of the climate system:Atmosphere. One of the mathematical results of these complex equations is a prediction whether warming or cooling will occur. ice cover on land and sea. (3) any additional emissions from climate feedbacks that were not included in the models IPCC used to prepare its report. simplifications of the actual climate system are inevitable because of the constraints of available computer power and limitations in knowledge of the climate system. thermodynamics and radiative transfer. . Results from models can also vary due to different greenhouse gas inputs and the model's climate sensitivity. The models do not assume the climate will warm due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases.
 The physical realism of models is tested by examining their ability to simulate contemporary or past climates.Recent research has called special attention to the need to refine models with respect to the effect of clouds and the carbon cycle. In the 1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance. Models are also used to help investigate the causes of recent climate change by comparing the observed changes to those that the models project from various natural and human-derived causes.g. e. Not all effects of global warming are accurately predicted by the climate models used by the IPCC. and hence significantly faster than global climate models predict. Detection and attribution may also be applied to observed changes in physical. ObservedArctic shrinkage has been faster than that predicted. Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. they do indicate that the warming since 1970 is dominated by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Precipitation increased proportional to atmospheric humidity. Some of these changes.. Expected effects Main articles: Effects of global warming and Regional effects of global warming "Detection" is the process of demonstrating that climate has changed in some defined statistical sense. based on the instrumental temperature record. "Attribution" of causes of climate change is the process of establishing the most likely causes for the detected change with some defined level of confidence. but do not simulate all aspects of climate. Although these models do not unambiguously attribute the warming that occurred from approximately 1910 to 1945 to either natural variation or human effects. ecological and social systems. have been described in the section on temperature . climate models produce a good match to observations of global temperature changes over the last century. As of 2012. Detection does not imply attribution of the detected change to a particular cause. reported to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and theNational Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Natural systems Global warming has been detected in a number of systems. without providing a reason for that change.
 Social systems Vulnerability of human societies to climate change mainly lies in the effects of extreme-weather events rather than gradual climate change. Future climate change is expected to particularly affect certain ecosystems. model-based estimates of sea level rise for the end of the 21st century (the year 2090–2099. nor was an upper bound given for sea level rise. the melting of ice sheets could result in even higher sea level rise. The frequency of hot extremes. it is expected that climate change will result in the extinction of many species and reduced diversity of ecosystems. Snow cover area and sea ice extent are expected to decrease. have been linked with high confidence to recent warming. These estimates. with most warming at high northern latitudes. Rising sea levels and observed decreases in snow and ice extent are consistent with warming. Warming above 3 °C could result in crop yields falling in temperate regions. Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet. and heavy precipitation will very likely increase. were not given a likelihood due to a lack of scientific understanding. combined with higher global temperatures.18 to 0. Overall. relative to 1980– 1999) range from 0. increasing the risk of malnutrition. heat waves. and small but discernable effects on human health. Even with policies to reduce emissions. relative to 1990–2000) could result in increased crop yields in mid. increased malnutrition and increased health impacts. and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean.[D]attributable to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. Over the 21st century. but in low-latitude areas. Impacts of climate change so far include adverse effects on small islands. leading to a reduction in global food production. On the timescale of centuries to millennia.changes. climate change is likely to adversely affect hundreds of millions of people through increased coastal flooding. could contribute 4–6 metres (13 to 20 ft) or more to sea level rise.and high-latitude areas. reductions in water supplies. with high probability. Most economic studies suggest losses of world gross domestic product (GDP) for this magnitude of warming. In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. the earlier timing of spring events. Most of the increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is. across a range of future emission scenarios. global emissions are still expected to continue to grow over time. including tundra. It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher atmospheric CO2 levels.59 m. A similar regional pattern of net benefits and costs could occur for economic (market-sector) effects. and poleward and upward shifts in plant and animal ranges. Responses to global warming Mitigation Main article: Climate change mitigation . with the Arctic expected to be largely ice-free in September by 2037.mangroves. Ecological systems In terrestrial ecosystems. however. Future warming of around 3 °C (by 2100. adverse effects on indigenous populations in high-latitude areas. and possibly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land. and coral reefs. yields could decline.
technologies. and techniques for reducing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth's atmospheric system. increased use of renewable energy. usually underground. (.) with the risk of unknown side-effects. Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history. less polluting. e.e. The ability to adapt is closely linked to social andeconomic development. Adaptation Main article: Adaptation to global warming Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. The barriers. The IPCC's overall conclusion was that geoengineering options remained "largely speculative and unproven. a process that traps CO2 produced by factories and gas or coal power stations and then stores it. deployment would likely require global public acceptance and an adequate global legal and regulatory framework. mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage. bothdeveloping and developed. In order to limit warming to within the lower range described in the IPCC's "Summary Report for Policymakers" it will be necessary to adopt policies that will limit greenhouse gas emissions to one of several significantly different scenarios described in the full report. Views on global warming . or enhance the capacity of carbon sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere. including ocean fertilization. In the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (published in 2007) Working Group III (WG3) assessed some "apparently promising" geoengineering techniques. As most geoengineering techniques would affect the entire globe. fossil fuels are going to be used for years to come. and increased energy efficiency. reliable cost estimates for geoengineering options had not yet been published." In the IPCC's judgement. done privately without government intervention.. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis. limits.See also: Fee and dividend Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. by local or national government. or spontaneous.:192 Use of these technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. The IPCC defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. as well as significant further scientific research.. Adaptation to climate change may be planned. are aiming to use cleaner... This will become more and more difficult with each year of increasing volumes of emissions and even more drastic measures will be required in later years to stabilize a desired atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. capturing and sequestering CO2. breaking the prior record set in 2008. Since even in the most optimistic scenario. Geoengineering A body of the scientific literature has developed which considers alternative geoengineering techniques for climate change mitigation. Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change. Policies include targets for emissions reductions. Studies indicate substantial potential for future reductions in emissions. i. and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood. Many countries.g.
The disputed issues include the causes of increasedglobal average air temperature. global emissions have risen.Main articles: Global warming controversy and Politics of global warming See also: Scientific opinion on climate change and Public opinion on climate change There are different views over what the appropriate policy response to climate change should be. The Framework Convention was agreed in 1992. and the emissions of developing countries would grow to meet their development needs. Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC). In general. During negotiations. food production is not threatened. Additional disputes concern estimates of climate sensitivity. there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. The ultimate objective of the Convention is to prevent "dangerous" human interference of the climate system. Global warming controversy The global warming controversy refers to a variety of disputes. significantly more pronounced in the popular media than in the scientific literature. whether this warming trend is unprecedented or within normal climatic variations. They challenged the scientific evidence. In the scientific literature. and whether the increase is wholly or partially an artifact of poor measurements.:290This ."  In order to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of CO2. this requires that GHG concentrations are stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change. and consequences of global warming. and asserted that proposed solutions would do more harm than good. whether humankind has contributed significantly to it. but since then. No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view. emissions worldwide would need to be dramatically reduced from their present level. As is stated in the Convention. especially since the mid-20th century. causes. This was justified on the basis that: the developed world's emissions had contributed most to the stock of GHGs in the atmosphere. emissions per head of population) were still relatively low in developing countries. the G77 (a lobbying group in the United Nations representing 133 developing nations):4 pushed for a mandate requiring developed countries to "[take] the lead" in reducing their emissions. From 1990–1997 in the United States. per-capita emissions (i. argued that global warming will have benefits.  though a few organisations hold non-committal positions.e. it seems likely that climate change will impose greater damages and risks in poorer regions. predictions of additional warming. Politics Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention refers explicitly to "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations.  These competing views weigh the benefits of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases against the costs. conservative think tanks mobilized to undermine the legitimacy of global warming as a social problem. and what the consequences of global warming will be. and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion.. regarding the nature.
:10–14 The UNEP assessment takes the 2 °C objective as being measured against the pre-industrial global mean temperature level. Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University said that "results show the different stages of engagement about global warming on each . It produced an agreement. as of November 2010):9 aim to limit the future increase in global mean temperature to below2 °C.  A preliminary assessment published in November 2010 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests a possible "emissions gap" between the voluntary pledges made in the Accord and the emissions cuts necessary to have a "likely" (greater than 66% probability) chance of meeting the 2 °C objective.5 °C. with substantial declines in emissions thereafter. Bush rejected the treaty on the basis that "it exempts 80% of the world. Public opinion The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with English-speaking territoriesand do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. parts of Asia and the Middle East. The 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) was held at Cancún in 2010.000 adults in the USA conducted 29–30 July 2011. assessed studies generally indicated the need for global emissions to peak before 2020. and those in Africa the least aware. It also recognized the need to consider strengthening the goal to a global average rise of 1. most developed countries accepted legally binding commitments to limit their emissions. from compliance. Latin America leads in belief that temperature changes are a result of human activities while Africa. To having a likely chance of meeting the 2 °Cobjective. and would cause serious harm to the US economy. In the Western world. with people in developing countries less aware than those indeveloped. In 2007–2008 Gallup Polls surveyed 127 countries. Over a third of the world's population was unaware of global warming. These first-round commitments expire in 2012.:290 which entered into legal effect in 2005. several UNFCCC Parties produced the Copenhagen Accord. and a few countries from the Former Soviet Union lead in the opposite belief. that the Parties should take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet a goal of limiting global warming to 2 °C above pre-industrial temperatures. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. held in 2009 at Copenhagen. US President George W.mandate was sustained in the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention. (October 2011) Based on Rasmussen polling of 1. Parties associated with the Accord (140 countries. Of those aware. including major population centers such as China and India. In ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.":5 At the 15th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties. not a binding treaty. opinions over the concept and the appropriate responses are divided.
only 35% of whom considered there to be solid evidence of global warming." A 2010 poll by the Office of National Statistics found that 75% of UK respondents were at least "fairly convinced" that the world's climate is changing. this was 10% below the 2008 poll (63%). "The debate in Europe is about what action needs to be taken. In the US. Opinion was unchanged from an August 2009 poll asking the same question. in May 2011 a joint poll by Yale and George Mason Universities found that nearly half the people in the USA (47%) attribute global warming to human activities. though there had been a slight polarisation of opposing views.side of the Atlantic". 75% said they believe global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious threat to the economy and quality of life in California. a little over half the population (53%) now viewed it as a serious concern for either themselves or their families. The cause of this marked difference in public opinion between the US and the global public is uncertain but the hypothesis has been advanced that clearer communication by scientists both directly and through the media would be helpful in adequately informing the American public of the scientific consensus and the basis for it. compared to 36% blaming it on natural causes. compared to 87% in a similar survey in 2006. with 73% saying global warming was a serious threat to their families. 2009 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed decreasing public perception in the US that global warming was a serious problem. Latin America had the biggest rise in concern." The same poll found that 20% of Americans. 20% of Britons and 14% of Canadians think "global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven. adding. By 2010.  The US public appears to be unaware of the extent of scientific consensus regarding the issue. A September 2011 Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that Britons (43%) are less likely than Americans (49%) or Canadians (52%) to say that "global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities. Only 5% of the 35% who were "disengaged". On the other hand. In the United States. Gallup determined that there was a substantial decrease in the number of Americans and Europeans who viewed Global Warming as a serious threat. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that the public's belief as to the causes of global warming depends on the wording choice used in the polls. That global poll also found that people are more likely to attribute global warming to human activities than to natural causes. or "dismissive" of global warming were aware that 97% of publishing US climate scientists agree global warming is happening and is primarily caused by humans. A January 2011 ICM poll in the UK found 83% of respondents viewed climate change as a current or imminent threat. A survey in October. while 14% said it was no threat. "doubtful". with 111 countries surveyed. All political persuasions showed reduced concern with lowest concern among Republicans. with 59% believing that scientists disagree "significantly" on global warming. according to the Public Policy Institute of California's (PPIC) eleventh annual survey on environmental policy issues." Other views . A July 2011 Rasmussen Reports poll found that 69% of adults in the USA believe it is at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified global warming research. while many in the US still debate whether climate change is happening. except in the USA where nearly half (47%) of the population attributed global warming to natural causes.
Deutsche Bank has set up an institutional climate change investment division (DBCCA)." because while it was recognized humans could change the climate. while referring to other changes caused by increased CO2 asclimate change. and provided their own projections of the economic cost of stricter controls. previously the phrasing used by scientists was "inadvertent climate modification. However. National science academies have called on world leaders for policies to cut global emissions. while promoting adaptation to changes in infrastructural needs and emissions reductions. Etymology The term global warming was probably first used in its modern sense on 8 August 1975 in a science paper by Wally Broecker in the journalScience called "Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming?". some scientists and non-scientists question aspects of climate-change science. it said: "if carbon dioxide continues to increase. conservative commentators. Some fossil fuel companies have scaled back their efforts in recent years. In the finance industry. Broecker's choice of words was new and represented a significant recognition that the climate was warming." The report made a distinction between referring to surface temperature changes as global warming. Organizations such as the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute. no one was sure which direction it was going. The National Academy of Sciences first used global warming in a 1979 paper called the Charney Report. He said: "global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming. Environmental organizations and public figures have emphasized changes in the climate and the risks they entail. funded scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus. or called for policies to reduce global warming." His testimony was widely reported and afterward global warmingwas commonly used by the press and in public discourse. . and some companies such as ExxonMobilhave challenged IPCC climate change scenarios. [we find] no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible. which has commissioned and published research on the issues and debate surrounding global warming.Most scientists agree that humans are contributing to observed climate change. Global warming became more widely popular after 1988 when NASA climate scientist James Hansen used the term in a testimony to Congress.
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