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Climate Change Causes - NASA

Climate Change Causes - NASA
Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the "greenhouse effect"1 — warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Long-lived gases that remain semi-permanently in the atmosphere and do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as "forcing" climate change. Gases, such as water vapor, which respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are seen as "feedbacks." Gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect include: Water vapor. On Earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse. The consequences of changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse are difficult to predict, but certain effects seem likely: On average, Earth will become warmer. The role of human activity Solar irradiance Indeed, studies show that solar variability has played a role in past climate changes.

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Climate change: evidence and causes Project background The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, with their similar missions to promote the use of science to benefit society and to inform critical policy debates, offer this new publication as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative answers about the current state of climate change science. The publication makes clear what is well established, where consensus is growing, and where there is still uncertainty. It is written and reviewed by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists. It echoes and builds upon the long history of climate-related work from both national science academies, as well as the newest climate change assessment from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Government Resources NASA is an expert in climate and Earth science. While its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change, its purview does include providing the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change and evaluating the impact of efforts to combat it. NASA then makes this information available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world. (For more information, see NASA's role.) The following selected resources from U.S. government organizations provide information about options for responding to climate change. Data and Information

The Basics of Climate Change Figure b1. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, absorb heat energy and emit it in all directions (including downwards), keeping Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere warm. Adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere enhances the effect, making Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere even warmer. Image based on a figure from US EPA. ( larger version) Greenhouse gases affect Earth’s energy balance and climate

Canada plans to phase out coal-powered electricity by 2030 Canada has announced plans to phase out the use of coal-fired electricity by 2030. The move is in stark contrast to President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to revive the American coal industry. The environment minister, Kathleen McKenna, said the goal is to make sure 90% of Canada’s electricity comes from sustainable sources by that time – up from 80% today. How well do you know your climate change ABCs? What is climate change? Climate change is any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for several decades or longer, including changes in temperature, precipitation or wind patterns. Historically the Earth’s climate has changed continually, but it is widely agreed that the observed changes over the past 50 years or so have been primarily caused by human activities. How much has the global temperature changed?

UK signs up for Paris climate agreement Image copyright Getty Images The UK government has signed a document ratifying the world's first comprehensive agreement on tackling climate change. Parliament raised no objections to the Paris deal; after the government signed the deal on Thursday, it is now just awaiting deposition at the UN.

Causes of climate change Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming livestock. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. Greenhouse gases Some gases in the Earth's atmosphere act a bit like the glass in a greenhouse, trapping the sun's heat and stopping it from leaking back into space.

Former Great Barrier Reef marine park head calls for ban on new coalmines The former head of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has called for a ban on all new coalmines in Australia, saying the move is needed to protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change. “I love the reef and I have worked to preserve it since 1979; I will oppose anything that threatens to destroy it,” said Graeme Kelleher, who was the first chief executive of GBRMPA, a position he held for 16 years. “The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the world.” Kelleher, who is also a member of the Ocean Elders – a group of global leaders concerned about ocean conservation including Richard Branson, James Cameron, Jane Goodall and EO Wilson – said: “Australia cannot have a healthy Great Barrier Reef and a continuing coal industry.” Kelleher put his name to a petition started by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, calling on the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to put an immediate ban on all new coalmines.