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What is climate change?

What is climate change?
Media playback is unsupported on your device BBC News looks at what we know and don't know about the Earth's changing climate. What is climate change? The planet's climate has constantly been changing over geological time. The global average temperature today is about 15C, though geological evidence suggests it has been much higher and lower in the past. However, the current period of warming is occurring more rapidly than many past events. What is the "greenhouse effect"? The greenhouse effect refers to the way the Earth's atmosphere traps some of the energy from the Sun. The energy that radiates back down to the planet heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface. Scientists believe we are adding to the natural greenhouse effect with gases released from industry and agriculture (known as emissions), trapping more energy and increasing the temperature. Most man-made emissions of CO2 are through the burning of fossil fuels, as well as through cutting down carbon-absorbing forests.

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2016 'very likely' to be world's warmest year Image copyright Getty Images 2016 looks poised to be the warmest year on record globally, according to preliminary data. With data from just the first nine months, scientists are 90% certain that 2016 will pass the mark set by 2015. Temperatures from January to September were 1.2C above pre-industrial levels, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The body says temperatures should remain high enough for the rest of the year to break the previous record. Greenhouse gas emissions accounting Maybe later |Close Thank you! We will send you a reminder email. Dear readers in Canada, time is running out in 2016 to help Wikipedia.

Sustainability Ever since the writing of Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s, and especially since Paul Ehrlich’s publication of “The Population Bomb” in 1968, there has been a lot of learned skull-scratching over what the sustainable human population of Planet Earth might “really” be over the long haul. This question is intrinsically tied to the issue of ecological overshoot so ably described by William R. Catton Jr. in his 1980 book “Overshoot:The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change”. How much have we already pushed our population and consumption levels above the long-term carrying capacity of the planet? This article outlines my current thoughts on carrying capacity and overshoot, and presents six estimates for the size of a sustainable human population. Unfortunately that definition becomes more nebulous and controversial the closer you look at it, especially when we are talking about the planetary carrying capacity for human beings.

WWF: Climate Change Shop to Support WWF Shop at AmazonSmile to support our global conservation efforts every time you buy. It’s the same you know—same products, same prices—and 0.5% of each purchase price is donated back to WWF. 'It was too hot, even to leave home': stories from the world's hottest year Nigeria In the displacement camps of north-east Nigeria, most residents have the same answer for why 2.6 million people have been forced from their homes in this region. They are running from Boko Haram, the jihadist militants who still control significant parts of the Lake Chad basin. But ask about how Boko Haram gained momentum in the first place, and a more complex narrative emerges.

United Nations Conference on the Human Environment The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden from June 5–16 in 1972. When the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene the 1972 Stockholm Conference, taking up the offer of the Government of Sweden to host it,[1] UN Secretary-General U Thant invited Maurice Strong to lead it as Secretary-General of the Conference, as the Canadian diplomat (under Pierre Trudeau) had initiated and already worked for over two years on the project.[2][3] The United Nations Environment Programme, or UNEP, was created as a result of this conference.[4]

WWF: Climate change Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the most significant of the gases in our atmosphere which keep the Earth warm. 4 billion years ago its concentration in the atmosphere was much higher than today - 80% compared to today's 0.03%. But most of it was removed through photosynthesis over time. All this carbon dioxide became locked in organisms and then minerals such as oil, coal and petroleum inside the Earth's crust. A natural carbon dioxide cycle keeps the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere in balance. Decaying plants, volcanic eruptions and the respiration of animals release natural CO2 into the atmosphere, where it stays for about 100 years.

Earth warming to climate tipping point, warns study Image copyright AP A warmer world will release vast volumes of carbon into the atmosphere, potentially triggering dangerous climate change, scientists warn. Writing in journal Nature, they project that an increase of 1C (1.8F) will release an additional 55 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050. This could trigger a "positive feedback" and push the planet's climate system past the point of no-return. Previous assessments have not taken carbon released by soil into account. Earth Summit 2002 The World Summit on Sustainable Development, WSSD or ONG Earth Summit 2002 took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002. It was convened to discuss sustainable development by the United Nations. WSSD gathered a number of leaders from business and non-governmental organizations, 10 years after the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. (It was therefore also informally nicknamed "Rio+10".)

Will the World Economy Continue to “Roll Along” in 2018? Once upon a time, we worried about oil and other energy. Now, a song from 1930 seems to be appropriate: Today, we have a surplus of oil, which we are trying to use up. Clean Air Kids: Greenhouse Effect & Global Warming The Earth is wrapped in a blanket of air called the 'atmosphere', which is made up of several layers of gases. The sun is much hotter than the Earth and it gives off rays of heat (radiation) that travel through the atmosphere and reach the Earth. The rays of the sun warm the Earth, and heat from the Earth then travels back into the atmosphere. The gases in the atmosphere stop some of the heat from escaping into space. These gases are called greenhouse gases and the natural process between the sun, the atmosphere and the Earth is called the 'Greenhouse Effect', because it works the same way as a greenhouse.

2016 locked into being hottest year on record, Nasa says Nasa has all but declared this year to be the hottest yet recorded, after September narrowly turned out the warmest in modern temperature monitoring. Last month was 0.91C above the average temperature for that time of year from 1951 to 1980, the benchmark used for measuring rises. The new findings follow record-breaking monthly anomalies throughout this year, leading the agency to believe that because of the highs reported so far, 2016 will take the crown as warmest in the 136 years of modern data-keeping. Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, tweeted: Last month was only just over the previous record, coming in at a razor-thin 0.004C above the previous high for the time of year, reached in September 2014.