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Global Warming 101 - Definition, Facts, Causes and Effects of Global Warming

Jump to Section: Q: What is global warming? A: Here's a simple definition of global warming. (And yes, it's really happening.) Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. And experts see the trend is accelerating: All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000. Climate change deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” or a “slowdown” in rising global temperatures, but several recent studies, including a 2015 paper published in the journal Science, have disproved this claim. Q: What causes global warming? A: Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution, producing about two billion tons of CO2 every year.

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What Is Global Warming? The globe is heating up. Both land and oceans are warmer now than record-keeping began in 1880, and temperatures are still ticking upward. This temperature rise, in a nutshell, is global warming. Here are the bare numbers, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Average surface temperatures rose a total of 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) between 1880 and 2016. The pace of change has been an additional 0.13 degrees F (0.07 degrees C) per decade, with the land surface warming faster than the ocean surface — 0.18 degrees F (0.10 degrees C) versus 0.11 degrees F (0.06 degrees C) per decade, respectively. What is global warming, facts and information? Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are dying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It has become clear that humans have caused most of the past century's warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years.

Global Warming This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Sun’s energy varied. But in the past century, another force has started to influence Earth’s climate: humanity. What is Global Warming? Definition, Causes, & Effects Global warming, the phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures near the surface of Earth over the past one to two centuries. Climate scientists have since the mid-20th century gathered detailed observations of various weather phenomena (such as temperatures, precipitation, and storms) and of related influences on climate (such as ocean currents and the atmosphere’s chemical composition). These data indicate that Earth’s climate has changed over almost every conceivable timescale since the beginning of geologic time and that the influence of human activities since at least the beginning of the Industrial Revolution has been deeply woven into the very fabric of climate change.

Effects of global warming Describes the effects created by global warming A 2014 summary of climate change impacts Seven of these indicators would be expected to increase in a warming world and observations show that they are, in fact, increasing. Three would be expected to decrease and they are, in fact, decreasing.[5] The effects of global warming or climate damage include far-reaching and long-lasting changes to the natural environment, to ecosystems and human societies caused directly or indirectly by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Effects of Global Warming Global warming is expected to have far-reaching, long-lasting and, in many cases, devastating consequences for planet Earth. Global warming, the gradual heating of Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere, is caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels that pump carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Despite political controversy about climate change, a major report released Sept. 27, 2013, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that scientists are more certain than ever of the link between human activities and global warming. More than 197 international scientific organizations agree that global warming is real and has been caused by human action. Already, global warming is having a measurable effect on the planet.

Effects › en español Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.

Global warming - Potential effects of global warming The path of future climate change will depend on what courses of action are taken by society—in particular the emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. A range of alternative emissions scenarios known as representative concentration pathways (RCPs) were proposed by the IPCC in the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which was published in 2014, to examine potential future climate changes. The scenarios depend on various assumptions concerning future rates of human population growth, economic development, energy demand, technological advancement, and other factors. Unlike the scenarios used in previous IPCC assessments, the AR5 RCPs explicitly account for climate change mitigation efforts. The results of each scenario in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007) are depicted in the graph. Scenario RCP 8.5, by contrast, might be described as “business as usual.”

What Causes Global Warming? Droughts, lengthy hot spells, heavy downpours, floods, and other extreme weather events are occurring more frequently and intensely every year. Around the world, research teams are analyzing these trends, noting the changes in temperature, rainfall, ice mass, sea level, and many other variables recorded by weather measuring devices. The trends are undeniable: the Earth is getting warmer. Polar sea ice and glaciers are melting, the sea level is rising, and as the oceans absorb more and more carbon dioxide (CO2), they are becoming measurably more acidic. Why is this happening? What is the cause of all this global warming?

Facts on global warming, climate change and geospatial technologies Some Facts: The Rising Temperature April 2017 was the second-warmest April in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to NASA‘s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).In 2016, Earth’s average surface temperature hit a record level for the third consecutive year since records began in 1880.The global average temperature was about 1.1 degree Celsius (1.98 Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial era. This is when mankind’s mass burning of coal, and later oil and gas, started hiking levels of heat-trapping CO2 in the atmosphere. The Melting Ice Global warming Global mean land-ocean temperature change from 1880 to 2014, 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.

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