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Global warming

This article is about the current change in Earth's climate. For general discussion of how the climate can change, see Climate change. For other uses, see Global warming (disambiguation). Global mean land-ocean temperature change from 1880–2012, relative to the 1951–1980 mean. The black line is the annual mean and the red line is the 5-year running mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. Source: NASA GISS. The map shows the 10-year average (2000–2009) global mean temperature anomaly relative to the 1951–1980 mean. The largest temperature increases are in the Arctic and the Antarctic Peninsula. Source: NASA Earth Observatory[1] Fossil fuel related CO2 emissions compared to five of the IPCC's "SRES" emissions scenarios. The dips are related to global recessions. Image source: Skeptical Science. Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation. Since the early 20th century, Earth's mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980.[2] Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.[3][4][5][6] These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all major industrialized nations.[7][A] Climate model projections were summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicated 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 lowest emissions scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 °C (4.3 to 11.5 °F) for their highest.[8] The ranges of these estimates arise from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations.[9][10]

Observed temperature changes
The increase in ocean heat content is much larger than any other store of energy in the Earth’s heat balance over the two periods 1961 to 2003 and 1993 to 2003, and accounts for more than 90% of the possible increase in heat content of the Earth system during these periods.[26]

Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions from climate proxies, each smoothed on a decadal scale, with the instrumental temperature record overlaid in black.

The Earth's average surface temperature rose by 0.74±0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005. The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the period as a whole (0.13±0.03 °C per decade, versus 0.07±0.02 °C per decade). The urban heat island effect is very small, estimated to account for less than 0.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900.[27]

This graph. Monthly CO2 measurements display seasonal oscillations in an upward trend.[54][C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor. which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect. in 2005. increased concentrations of greenhouse gases). The climatic impacts from particulate forcing could have a large effect on climate through the indirect effect. solar luminosity.[55][56][57] Clouds also affect the radiation balance through cloud forcings similar to greenhouse gases. with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.13 and 0. the atmosphere. Particulates and soot Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. 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.[49] Examples of external forcings include changes in atmospheric composition (e. Energy exchanges are expressed in watts per square meter (W/m2). Bubble diagram showing the share of global cumulative energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for major emitters between 1890-2007. Greenhouse effect. which causes 9–26%.g.. methane (CH4). and earth's surface. Radiative forcing. known as the Keeling Curve.[52] Annual world greenhouse gas emissions. volcanic eruptions. which causes 4– 9%. according to satellite temperature measurements. Climate proxies show the temperature to have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850.22 °C (0. The climate system can respond to changes in external forcings. by sector. It was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. shows the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations from 1958–2008.[47][48] External forcings can "push" the climate in the direction of warming or cooling. and declines during its growing season as plants remove some atmospheric CO2.Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased between 0.4 °F) per decade since 1979. and ozone (O3). which causes 3–7%. and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun.[28] Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings) Greenhouse effect schematic showing energy flows between space. . carbon dioxide (CO2).22 and 0.[53] Naturally occurring amounts of greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F). Greenhouse gases Main articles: Greenhouse gas. each year's maximum occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring.

[90] These measurements indicate that the Sun's output has not increased since 1978.[78] The main cause of this dimming is particulates produced by volcanoes and human made pollutants. The effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion – CO2 and aerosols – have largely offset one another in recent decades. the combination of solar and volcanic activity probably had a slight cooling influence on the climate. Observed and expected effects on social systems Food security Habitat inundation Responses to global warming Responses to global warming In 2007–2008 Gallup Polls surveyed 127 countries. Over a third of the world's population was unaware of global warming. Of those aware. so that net warming has been due to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane. with people in developing countries less aware than those in developed. Latin America leads in belief that temperature changes are a result of human activities while Africa. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of a century or more.Global dimming. In the three decades since 1978. changes in particulate concentrations will only delay climate changes due to carbon dioxide. so the warming during the past 30 years cannot be attributed to an increase in solar energy reaching the Earth. and a few countries from the Former Soviet Union lead in the opposite belief. was observed from 1961 until at least 1990. output from the Sun has been precisely measured by satellites. and as such. . a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface. and those in Africa the least aware.[79] Radiative forcing due to particulates is temporally limited due to wet deposition which causes them to have an atmospheric lifetime of one week. which exerts a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight.[80] Solar activity Main articles: Solar variation and Solar wind Since 1978. parts of Asia and the Middle East.