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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the change in climate that Earth is currently experiencing. For general discussion of how Earth's climate can change, see Climate change.
] Global mean land-ocean temperature change from 1880–2011, 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
Fossil fuel related CO2 emissions compared to five of IPCC's emissions scenarios. The dips are related to global recessions. Data from IPCC SRES scenarios; Data spreadsheet included with International Energy Agency's "CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2010 – Highlights"; and Supplemental IEA data. Image source: Skeptical Science Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, which started to increase in the 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 the Intergovernmental 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 lowest emissions 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 of extreme-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 (7.2 °F) 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, the ecosystem 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.
1 Observed temperature changes 2 Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings)
○ ○ ○
2.1 Greenhouse gases 2.2 Particulates and soot 2.3 Solar activity
• • •
3 Feedback 4 Climate models 5 Expected effects
5.1 Natural systems 5.2 Ecological systems
○ • ○ ○ ○ • ○ ○ ○ ○ • • • • • • • •
5.3 Social systems 6.1 Mitigation 6.2 Adaptation 6.3 Geoengineering 7.1 Global warming controversy 7.2 Politics 7.3 Public opinion 7.4 Other views
6 Responses to global warming
7 Views on global warming
8 Etymology 9 See also 10 Notes 11 Citations 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links 15 Related information
Observed temperature changes
Main article: Instrumental temperature record
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. Evidence for warming of the climate system includes observed increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level. The Earth's average surface temperature, expressed as a linear trend, 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. Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased between 0.13 and 0.22 °C (0.22 and 0.4 °F) per decade since
1979, according to satellite temperature measurements. Climate proxies show the temperature to have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850, with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. 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, widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 19th century, exceeding 1998 by a few hundredths of a degree. Estimates by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) show 2005 as the second warmest year, behind 1998 with 2003 and 2010 tied for third warmest year, however, “the error estimate for individual years ... is at least ten times larger than the differences between these three years.” The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) statement on the status of the global climate in 2010 explains that, “The 2010 nominal value of +0.53 °C ranks just ahead of those of 2005 (+0.52 °C) and 1998 (+0.51 °C), although the differences between the three years are not statistically significant...”
NOAA graph of Global Annual Temperature Anomalies 1950–2011, showing the El NiñoSouthern 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. Global temperature is subject to short-term fluctuations that overlay long term trends and can temporarily mask them. The relative stability in temperature from 2002 to 2009 is consistent with such an episode. 2010 was also an El Niño year. On the low swing of the oscillation, 2011 as an La Niña year was cooler but it was still the 11th warmest year since records began in 1880. Of the 13 warmest years since 1880, 11 were the years from 2001 to 2011. Over the more recent record, 2011 was the warmest "La Niña year" in the period from 1950 to 2011, and was close to 1997 which was not at the lowest point of the cycle. Temperature changes vary over the globe. Since 1979, land temperatures have increased about twice as fast as ocean temperatures (0.25 °C per decade against 0.13 °C per decade). 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. 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 icealbedo feedback. 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. 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. Climate commitment studies indicate that even if greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) would still occur.
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. 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. It was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Climate responds to several types of external forcing. External forcing refers to processes external to the climate system (though not necessarily external to Earth) that influence climate. methane. changes in solar luminosity.[C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor. such as radiative forcing due to changes in atmospheric composition (mainly greenhouse gas concentrations). Clouds also affect the radiation balance through cloud forcings similar to greenhouse gases. Energy exchanges are expressed in watts per square meter (W/m2). This graph. each year's maximum occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring. which causes 9–26%. and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun. shows the long-term increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations from 1958–2008. and earth's surface. Greenhouse effect.Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings) Greenhouse effect schematic showing energy flows between space.  Naturally occurring amounts of greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F). Monthly CO2 measurements display seasonal oscillations in an upward trend. and ozone (O3). and declines during its growing season as plants remove some atmospheric CO2. leading to increased radiative forcing from CO2. volcanic eruptions. Greenhouse gases Main articles: Greenhouse gas. methane (CH4). known as the "Keeling Curve". which causes about 36–70% of the greenhouse effect. Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. which causes 4–9%.:0 Attribution of recent climate change focuses on the first three types of forcing. tropospheric . Radiative forcing. which causes 3–7%. but the 20th century instrumental temperature record shows a sudden rise in global temperatures. carbon dioxide (CO2). the atmosphere.
 CO2 emissions are continuing to rise due to the burning of fossil fuels and land-use change. emissions are reduced. the atmospheric concentration of CO2 could range between 541 and 970 ppm. Emission scenarios. have been projected that depend upon uncertain economic. Less direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values higher than this were last seen about 20 million years ago. These levels are much higher than at any time during the last 800. the relationship between the two is not strong. technological. CFCs and nitrous oxide.:289 Emissions scenarios.:71 Emissions can be attributed to different regions. Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and 148% respectively since 1750. and natural developments.e. i. while in a few.000 years. The popular media and the public often confuse global warming with ozone depletion. models suggest that by the year 2100.. Although there are a few areas of linkage. and will not limit carbon emissions in the 21st century. gross domestic product per capita and population growth were the main drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. including land-use change.ozone. The two figures opposite show annual greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2005. Particulates and soot . This is an increase of 90–250% above the concentration in the year 1750. including land-use change. sociological. combined with modelling of the carbon cycle. emissions continue to rise over the century. Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. Fossil fuel burning has produced about threequarters of the increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. Over the last three decades of the 20th century. particularly deforestation. In most scenarios. the destruction of stratospheric ozone by chlorofluorocarbons. have been used to produce estimates of how atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases might change in the future. the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores. Using the six IPCC SRES "marker" scenarios. Attribution of emissions due to land-use change is a controversial issue. while increased tropospheric ozone has had a somewhat larger warming effect. estimates of changes in future emission levels of greenhouse gases. The rest of this increase is caused mostly by changes in land-use. Reduced stratospheric ozone has had a slight cooling influence on surface temperatures. including land-use change. Fossil fuel reserves are abundant.
the lower surface albedo can also directly heat the surface. so that net warming has been due to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane. known as the Albrecht effect. including black carbon. This effect also causes droplets to be of more uniform size. The effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion – CO2 and aerosols – have largely offset one another in recent decades. was observed from 1961 until at least 1990. particulates have indirect effects on the radiation budget. while the effects of greenhouse gases are dominant in the extratropics and southern hemisphere. Soot may cool or warm the surface. In isolated areas with high soot production. such as rural India. a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface. The influences of particulates. 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. Indirect effects are most noticeable in marine stratiform clouds. The main cause of this dimming is particulates produced by volcanoes and human made pollutants. Radiative forcing due to particulates is temporally limited due to wet deposition which causes them to have an atmospheric lifetime of one week. are most pronounced in the tropics and sub-tropics. particularly in Asia. depending on whether it is airborne or deposited. especially on glaciers or on ice in arctic regions. changes in particulate concentrations will only delay climate changes due to carbon dioxide. which heats the atmosphere and cools the surface. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of a century or more. known as the Twomey effect. as much as 50% of surface warming due to greenhouse gases may be masked by atmospheric brown clouds. Atmospheric soot directly absorb solar radiation. Indirect effects of particulates represent the largest uncertainty in radiative forcing. . These clouds reflect solar radiation more efficiently than clouds with fewer and larger droplets. In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation. which reduces growth of raindrops and makes the cloud more reflective to incoming sunlight.Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. Global dimming. and as such. and have very little radiative effect on convective clouds. Sulfates act as cloud condensation nuclei and thus lead to clouds that have more and smaller cloud droplets. When deposited.
and the change in the second quantity in turn changes the first. .. Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways. and that the next solar cycle could be delayed. because this provides unequivocal evidence that the sun is not the dominant driver of global warming. but small. proposed by Henrik Svensmark. While both increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are expected to warm the troposphere. It is even possible that Sol could be heading towards another Maunder Minimum. Radiosonde (weather balloon) data show the stratosphere has cooled over the period since observations began (1958). which have been available since 1979. 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 present-day climate change. Solar activity Main articles: Solar variation and Solar wind Solar variations causing changes in solar radiation energy reaching the Earth have been the cause of past climate changes. Hansen says it is more evidence that geen house gases are the largest culprit.. is that magnetic activity of the sun deflects cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation nuclei and thereby affect the climate. though there is greater uncertainty in the early radiosonde record.Satellite observations of Total Solar Irradiance from 1979–2006. the scientists conducting the solar activity study believe that global greenhouse gas emissions would prevent any possible cold snap. he supports the theory advanced by "nearly all climate scientists" including the IPCC. also show cooling. To what extent is not yet clear. “ ” In line with other details mentioned above. with some studies showing a slight cooling effect.But it's worth noting. while others studies suggest a slight warming effect. Discussing the fact that low amounts of solar activity between 2005 and 2010 had hardly any effect on global warming. Other research has found no relation between warming in recent decades and cosmic rays. 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. Studies in 2011 have indicated that solar activity may be slowing. Feedback is important in the study of global warming because it may amplify or diminish the effect of a particular process. The effect of changes in solar forcing in recent decades is uncertain. Positive feedback increases the change in the first quantity while negative feedback reduces it. While there is not yet a definitive link between solar sunspot activity and global temperatures. A related hypothesis. Satellite observations. an increase in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase in greenhouse gases should cool the stratosphere. Solar Cycle 25 is due to start in 2020. that is. but may be delayed to 2022 or even longer. Feedback Main article: Climate change feedback Feedback is a process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity. director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen says that the sun is not nearly the biggest factor in global warming.
Positive and negative feedbacks are not imposed as assumptions in the models. which is more likely and over a 20 year lifetime has 72x the greenhouse warming power of CO2.2-fold increase. which increases as the fourth power of temperature. 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. which may have the potential to cause abrupt climate change.The main positive feedback in the climate system is the water vapor feedback. and is enough to raise atmospheric concentrations by an additional 87±29 ppm. Importantly.5-fold increase in methane emissions would cause indirect effects that increase the warming 250% above that of the methane alone. the indirect effects would be 400% of the warming from the methane alone. 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. The main negative feedback is radiative cooling through the Stefan–Boltzmann law. but are instead emergent properties that result from the interactions of basic dynamical and thermodynamic processes. is strong compared to other global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2. A wide range of potential feedback processes exist. permafrost carbon forcing (PCF) is irreversible. For example. Once initiated. the "emission scenarios" used by IPCC in its 2007 report primarily examined greenhouse gas emissions from human sources. Consequentially. 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 researchers found that a 2. and due to thermal inertia will continue for many years even if atmospheric warming stops. 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. The team found that even at the much lower level of human emissions. A great deal of this permafrost carbon is actually being released as highly flammable methane instead of carbon dioxide. even if policymakers attempt to reduce human emissions from the A1FI scenario to the A1B scenario. (2) that all of the carbon would be released as carbon dioxide instead of methane. which assumes no action is taken to reduce emissions and regionally divided economic development. beyond human emissions. In 2011. For a 5. and (3) their model did not project additional temperature rise caused by the release of these additional gases. 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. . potential tipping points may exist. the team made three extremely conservative assumptions: (1) that policymakers will embrace the A1B scenario instead of the A1FI scenario. such as Arctic methane release and icealbedo feedback. Climate models Main article: Global climate model Calculations of global warming prepared in or before 2001 from a range of climate models under the SRES A2 emissions scenario.
 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 humanderived causes.0 °C (5. chemical and biological processes. A climate model is a computerized representation of the five components of the climate system: Atmosphere. and biosphere. There can be components which represent air movement. i. thermodynamics and radiative transfer. clouds. temperature. the transfer of heat and moisture from soil and vegetation to the atmosphere. cryosphere. Precipitation increased proportional to atmospheric humidity. and circulation. and hence significantly faster than global climate models predict. For example. and others. ice cover on land and sea. The models do not assume the climate will warm due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases. the globally averaged warming corresponds to 3. hydrosphere. they do indicate that the warming since 1970 is dominated by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Although these models do not unambiguously attribute the warming that occurred from approximately 1910 to 1945 to either natural variation or human effects. simplifications of the actual climate system are inevitable because of the constraints of available computer power and limitations in knowledge of the climate system. the uncertainty in IPCC's 2007 projections is caused by (1) the use of multiple models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations. and other atmospheric properties. Such models are based on physical principles including fluid dynamics. The physical realism of models is tested by examining their ability to simulate contemporary or past climates. . Results from models can also vary due to different greenhouse gas inputs and the model's climate sensitivity. ocean temperature. (2) the use of differing estimates of humanities' future greenhouse gas emissions.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. (3) any additional emissions from climate feedbacks that were not included in the models IPCC used to prepare its report.e. Observed Arctic shrinkage has been faster than that predicted. Instead the models predict how greenhouse gases will interact with radiative transfer and other physical processes. One of the mathematical results of these complex equations is a prediction whether warming or cooling will occur.4 °F). but do not simulate all aspects of climate. Recent research has called special attention to the need to refine models with respect to the effect of clouds and the carbon cycle. land surface. Climate models produce a good match to observations of global temperature changes over the last century. greenhouse gas releases from permafrost. salt content. Although researchers attempt to include as many processes as possible. Not all effects of global warming are accurately predicted by the climate models used by the IPCC. In this figure..
Some of these changes. Detection does not imply attribution of the detected change to a particular cause. reported to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Natural systems Global warming has been detected in a number of systems. e. Detection and attribution may also be applied to observed changes in physical. with most warming at high northern latitudes. ecological and social systems. based on the instrumental temperature record. could contribute 4–6 metres (13 to 20 ft) or more to sea level rise. Even with policies to reduce emissions. relative to 1980–1999) range from 0. Snow cover area and sea ice extent are expected to decrease. with the Arctic expected to be largely ice-free in September by 2037.g. "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.59 m. with high probability..18 to 0. nor was an upper bound given for sea level rise.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. Most of the increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is. On the timescale of centuries to millennia. modelbased estimates of sea level rise for the end of the 21st century (the year 2090–2099. Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. were not given a likelihood due to a lack of scientific understanding. Rising sea levels and observed decreases in snow and ice extent are consistent with warming. have been described in the section on temperature changes.  Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land. In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. These estimates. The frequency of hot extremes. across a range of future emission scenarios. heat waves. and possibly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. and heavy precipitation will very likely increase. In the 1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance. without providing a reason for that change. global emissions are still expected to continue to grow over time. however. and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean. the melting of ice sheets could result in even higher sea level rise.[D] attributable to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. . Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet.
 Responses to global warming Mitigation Main article: Climate change mitigation See also: Fee and dividend Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. Future climate change is expected to particularly affect certain ecosystems. Social systems Vulnerability of human societies to climate change mainly lies in the effects of extremeweather events rather than gradual climate change. increased malnutrition and increased health impacts. combined with higher global temperatures. leading to a reduction in global food production. Impacts of climate change so far include adverse effects on small islands. The IPCC defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher atmospheric CO2 levels. Over the 21st century. Most economic studies suggest losses of world gross domestic product (GDP) for this magnitude of warming. Overall. Policies include targets for emissions reductions. including tundra. technologies. Since even in the most optimistic scenario. mangroves. increased use of renewable energy. fossil fuels are going to be used for years to come. reductions in water supplies. the earlier timing of spring events. less polluting.and high-latitude areas. relative to 1990–2000) could result in increased crop yields in mid. a process that traps CO2 produced by factories and gas or coal power stations and then stores it. breaking the prior record set in 2008. are aiming to use cleaner. and small but discernable effects on human health. climate change is likely to adversely affect hundreds of millions of people through increased coastal flooding. and coral reefs. A similar regional pattern of net benefits and costs could occur for economic (market-sector) effects. Warming above 3 °C could result in crop yields falling in temperate regions. and increased energy efficiency. have been linked with high confidence to recent warming.Ecological systems In terrestrial ecosystems. Future warming of around 3 °C (by 2100.:192 Use of these technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. Adaptation . adverse effects on indigenous populations in high-latitude areas. mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage.  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. Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history. usually underground. it is expected that climate change will result in the extinction of many species and reduced diversity of ecosystems. or enhance the capacity of carbon sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere. but in low-latitude areas. 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. Many countries. yields could decline. increasing the risk of malnutrition. both developing and developed. Studies indicate substantial potential for future reductions in emissions. and poleward and upward shifts in plant and animal ranges.
Additional disputes concern estimates of climate sensitivity. capturing and sequestering CO2. and what the consequences of global warming will be.. No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view. limits. From 1990–1997 in the United States. as well as significant further scientific research. The disputed issues include the causes of increased global average air temperature. (. and whether the increase is wholly or partially an artifact of poor measurements. i.Main article: Adaptation to global warming Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Views on global warming 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. Geoengineering A body of the scientific literature has developed which considers alternative geoengineering techniques for climate change mitigation. whether this warming trend is unprecedented or within normal climatic variations. The barriers.  The IPCC's overall conclusion was that geoengineering options remained "largely speculative and unproven. argued that global warming will have benefits. without government intervention. Adaptation to climate change may be planned. and techniques for reducing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth's atmospheric system. regarding the nature. and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood. They challenged the scientific evidence. and consequences of global warming. The ability to adapt is closely linked to social and economic development. As most geoengineering techniques would affect the entire globe. including ocean fertilization. either in reaction to or anticipation of climate change. significantly more pronounced in the popular media than in the scientific literature. In general." In the IPCC's judgement. though a few organisations hold non-committal positions. conservative think tanks mobilized to undermine the legitimacy of global warming as a social problem. Global warming controversy The global warming controversy refers to a variety of disputes. 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. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis. Politics . especially since the mid-20th century. whether humankind has contributed significantly to it.) with the risk of unknown side-effects. In the scientific literature. deployment would likely require global public acceptance and an adequate global legal and regulatory framework. Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change. reliable cost estimates for geoengineering options had not yet been published. In the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (published in 2007) Working Group III (WG3) assessed some "apparently promising" geoengineering techniques.. it seems likely that climate change will impose greater damages and risks in poorer regions.e.. predictions of additional warming. causes. and asserted that proposed solutions would do more harm than good. These competing views weigh the benefits of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases against the costs. or spontaneous.
most developed countries accepted legally binding commitments to limit their emissions. Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). emissions per head of population) were still relatively low in developing countries. as of November 2010):9 aim to limit the future increase in global mean temperature to below 2 °C. In ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Parties associated with the Accord (140 countries. To having a likely chance of meeting the 2 °C objective.":5 At the 15th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties. It also recognized the need to consider strengthening the goal to a global average rise of 1. and the emissions of developing countries would grow to meet their development needs. This was justified on the basis that: the developed world's emissions had contributed most to the stock of GHGs in the atmosphere. The Framework Convention was agreed in 1992. with substantial declines in emissions thereafter.:290 This mandate was sustained in the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention. several UNFCCC Parties produced the Copenhagen Accord. but since then. assessed studies generally indicated the need for global emissions to peak before 2020. global emissions have risen.:10–14 The UNEP assessment takes the 2 °C objective as being measured against the pre-industrial global mean temperature level. (October 2011) . During negotiations. emissions worldwide would need to be dramatically reduced from their present level. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. that the Parties should take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet a goal of limiting global warming to 2 °C above preindustrial temperatures. including major population centers such as China and India. per-capita emissions (i. not a binding treaty.5 °C. Bush rejected the treaty on the basis that "it exempts 80% of the world. The ultimate objective of the Convention is to prevent "dangerous" human interference of the climate system. As is stated in the Convention. 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. held in 2009 at Copenhagen.Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention refers explicitly to "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations. and would cause serious harm to the US economy. from compliance. Public opinion The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with English-speaking territories and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. food production is not threatened. It produced an agreement. 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. These first-round commitments expire in 2012. US President George W. The 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) was held at Cancún in 2010. this requires that GHG concentrations are stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change.:290 which entered into legal effect in 2005.e." In order to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of CO2. and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion..
 By 2010. In 2007–2008 Gallup Polls surveyed 127 countries. "The debate in Europe is about what action needs to be taken. 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. In the US. compared to 36% blaming it on natural causes. adding. All political persuasions showed reduced concern with lowest concern among Republicans. 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. Of those aware. Over a third of the world's population was unaware of global warming. with people in developing countries less aware than those in developed. only 35% of whom considered there to be solid evidence of global warming. Latin America leads in belief that temperature changes are a result of human activities while Africa. opinions over the concept and the appropriate responses are divided. Opinion was unchanged from an August 2009 poll asking the same question.Based on Rasmussen polling of 1. Gallup determined that there was a substantial decrease in the number of Americans and Europeans who viewed Global Warming as a serious threat.000 adults in the USA conducted 29–30 July 2011. 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. On the other hand. Latin America had the biggest rise in concern. and a few countries from the Former Soviet Union lead in the opposite belief." 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. . parts of Asia and the Middle East. Only 5% of the 35% who were "disengaged". "doubtful". and those in Africa the least aware. except in the USA where nearly half (47%) of the population attributed global warming to natural causes. A survey in October.  In the Western world. this was 10% below the 2008 poll (63%). A January 2011 ICM poll in the UK found 83% of respondents viewed climate change as a current or imminent threat. compared to 87% in a similar survey in 2006. a little over half the population (53%) now viewed it as a serious concern for either themselves or their families. while many in the US still debate whether climate change is happening. with 111 countries surveyed. though there had been a slight polarisation of opposing views. with 59% believing that scientists disagree "significantly" on global warming. Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University said that "results show the different stages of engagement about global warming on each side of the Atlantic". That global poll also found that people are more likely to attribute global warming to human activities than to natural causes. The US public appears to be unaware of the extent of scientific consensus regarding the issue. while 14% said it was no threat. 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. with 73% saying global warming was a serious threat to their families.
" His testimony was widely reported and afterward global warming was commonly used by the press and in public discourse. while referring to other changes caused by increased CO2 as climate change." because while it was recognized humans could change the climate." Other views Most scientists agree that humans are contributing to observed climate change." The report made a distinction between referring to surface temperature changes as global warming. and some companies such as ExxonMobil have challenged IPCC climate change scenarios.  Organizations such as the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute. Global warming became more widely popular after 1988 when NASA climate scientist James Hansen used the term in a testimony to Congress. 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. [we find] no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible. no one was sure which direction it was going. or called for policies to reduce global warming.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. 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. some scientists and non-scientists question aspects of climate-change science. 20% of Britons and 14% of Canadians think "global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven. while promoting adaptation to changes in infrastructural needs and emissions reductions. funded scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus. In the finance industry. according to the Public Policy Institute of California's (PPIC) eleventh annual survey on environmental policy issues. and provided their own projections of the economic cost of stricter controls. However. National science academies have called on world leaders for policies to cut global emissions. it said: "if carbon dioxide continues to increase. 75% said they believe global warming is a very serious or somewhat serious threat to the economy and quality of life in California. See also . In the United States. previously the phrasing used by scientists was "inadvertent climate modification. which has commissioned and published research on the issues and debate surrounding global warming." The same poll found that 20% of Americans. conservative commentators. 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 journal Science called "Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming?". 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. The National Academy of Sciences first used global warming in a 1979 paper called the Charney Report. Broecker's choice of words was new and represented a significant recognition that the climate was warming. Some fossil fuel companies have scaled back their efforts in recent years. Deutsche Bank has set up an institutional climate change investment division (DBCCA).
 D. The 2007 statement added Mexico and South Africa. European Geosciences Union. Germany. Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0. and World Meteorological Organization.Global warming portal Book: Global warming Wikipedia books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print. the Caribbean. and the UK." Citations . Royal Meteorological Society. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. Indonesia. European Science Foundation. Geological Society of Australia. The average worldwide surface temperature is about 14 °C (57 °F).6 °F) described in the Cancun Agreement.S. Sweden. Geological Society of America. Malaysia. Geological Society of London-Stratigraphy Commission. India. C. B. International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. European Academy of Sciences and Arts. Brazil. InterAcademy Council. International Union for Quaternary Research. National Association of Geoscience Teachers. American Physical Society. ^ In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Canada. Ireland. France. American Institute of Physics. American Quaternary Association. and the Polish Academy of Sciences have issued separate statements. based on expert judgement. Russia. In the last 100 years. New Zealand. ^ Note that the greenhouse effect produces an average worldwide temperature increase of about 33 °C (59 °F) compared to black body predictions without the greenhouse effect. ^ Earth has already experienced almost 1/2 of the 2.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades. the People's Republic of China. The 2005 statement added Japan. The Network of African Science Academies. Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. not an average surface temperature of 33 °C (91 °F). Italy. and the U.8 °C (1. this attribution is given a probability of greater than 90%. American Geophysical Union. Belgium. Professional scientific societies include American Astronomical Society. "[most] scientists agree that the warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.0 °C (3. American Chemical Society. National Research Council (US). ^ The 2001 joint statement was signed by the national academies of science of Australia. published in 2007. According to the US National Research Council Report – Understanding and Responding to Climate Change – published in 2008. • • • • Environmental impact of the coal industry Glossary of climate change History of climate change science Index of climate change articles Notes A. American Meteorological Society.
Synthesis Report.. ^ 2009 Ends Warmest Decade on Record. ^ Solomon et al.0 °F (0. Ganopolski. "(p1) .8 °C) over the past 100 years. 8. 5. ISBN 0309145880. ^ "Joint Science Academies' Statement" (PDF). Rahmstorf (2006). doi:10... Section 10. credible body of evidence. ^ a b America's Climate Choices. and supported by so many independent observations and results. NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day. 10: Global Climate Projections. widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level.4 °F (0. Synthesis Report. then the following likelihood ranges are used to express the assessed probability of occurrence: virtually certain >99%. Synthesis Report. 10. Chap. Washington.. * * * (p21-22) Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested. p. in IPCC AR4 WG1 2007. 10.1029/2006GL028443.. .C. ^ IPCC. 22 January 2010.g.: The National Academies Press. Washington. Sec. ^ "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Thomas (2007). in IPCC AR4 SYR 2007.3406805L. Climate Dynamics. Geophysical Research Letters 34 (6): L06805. based on multiple lines of research. Bibcode 2007GeoRL. Gabriel A. 15. that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small... 9. Held. in IPCC AR4 WG1 2007. ^ America's Climate Choices: Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change. * * * Where uncertainty in specific outcomes is assessed using expert judgment and statistical analysis of a body of evidence (e. "Expansion of the Hadley cell under global warming" (PDF). Thomas.4: Attribution of climate change. extremely likely >95%. Jian. Treatment of Uncertainty.C. Section 1.3: Regional-Scale Projections. D. there is a strong. in IPCC AR4 WG1 2007. 4." 7. Retrieved 9 August 2010. National Research Council (2010). Section TS. Reichler. very likely >90%.1.. ^ Meehl et al. ^ "Three different approaches are used to describe uncertainties each with a distinct form of language. 11. 2. Section 2." IPCC. Technical Summary.. and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations. observations or model results).1: Observations of climate change." IPCC.: The National Academies Press.. "Climate sensitivity estimated from ensemble simulations of glacial climate". Vechhi.ES: Mean Temperature. scientific questions. as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures. 2011. ^ Meehl et al. Retrieved 20 July 2011.5: Quantifying the Range of Climate Change. 12. Chap. documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. the core phenomenon.6 °C) of this warming occurring over just the past three decades" 3. D.. ^ Schneider Von Deimling. ISBN 978-0-309-14585-5. Advancing the Science of Climate Change. in IPCC AR4 SYR 2007. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities.. in IPCC AR4 SYR 2007. 10: Global Climate Projections. While much remains to be learned.5. "The average temperature of the Earth’s surface increased by about 1. with about 1. 6. ^ Lu.
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0 – from the United Nations University Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – business and politics Best Effort Global Warming Trajectories – Wolfram Demonstrations Project – by Harvey Lam Koshland Science Museum – Global Warming Facts and Our Future – graphical introduction from National Academy of Sciences Climate Change: Coral Reefs on the Edge – A video presentation by Prof. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea Related information [hide] • • • v t e Global warming and climate change [show] Temperature s [show] Causes [show] History [show] Opinion and climate change [show] Politics [show] Potential effects and issues [show] Mitigation . University of Auckland Climate Change Indicators in the United States Report by United States Environmental Protection Agency. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. Global Warming Video on the effects of global warming on St.• • • • • • • • • • • Understanding Climate Change – Frequently Asked Questions – from UCAR Global Warming: Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois Global Climate Change: NASA's Eyes on the Earth – from NASA's JPL and Caltech OurWorld 2. 80 pp.
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