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Climate Change: About

Climate Change

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What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates. These changes have a broad range of observed effects that are synonymous with the term.

Changes observed in Earth’s climate since the early 20th century are primarily driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, raising Earth’s average surface temperature. These human-produced temperature increases are commonly referred to as global warming. Natural processes can also contribute to climate change, including internal variability (e.g., cyclical ocean patterns like El Niño, La Niña and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation) and external forcings (e.g., volcanic activity, changes in the Sun’s energy output, variations in Earth’s orbit).

Scientists use observations from the ground, air and space, along with theoretical models, to monitor and study past, present and future climate change. Climate data records provide evidence of climate change key indicators, such as global land and ocean temperature increases; rising sea levels; ice loss at Earth’s poles and in mountain glaciers; frequency and severity changes in extreme weather such as hurricanes, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods and precipitation; and cloud and vegetation cover changes, to name but a few. Continue reading from NASA

How Do We Know Climate Change is Happening?

During the Industrial Revolution, people started burning coal and other fossil fuels to power factories, smelters and steam engines, which added more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Ever since, human activities have been heating the planet.

We know this is true thanks to an overwhelming body of evidence that begins with temperature measurements taken at weather stations and on ships starting in the mid-1800s. Later, scientists began tracking surface temperatures with satellites and looking for clues about climate change in geologic records. Together, these data all tell the same story: Earth is getting hotter.

Average global temperatures have increased by 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.2 degrees Celsius, since 1880, with the greatest changes happening in the late 20th century. Land areas have warmed more than the sea surface and the Arctic has warmed the most — by more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit just since the 1960s. Temperature extremes have also shifted. In the United States, daily record highs now outnumber record lows two-to-one.

In fact, surface temperatures actually mask the true scale of climate change, because the ocean has absorbed 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases. Measurements collected over the last six decades by oceanographic expeditions and networks of floating instruments show that every layer of the ocean is warming up. According to one study, the ocean has absorbed as much heat between 1997 and 2015 as it did in the previous 130 years.

We also know that climate change is happening because we see the effects everywhere. Ice sheets and glaciers are shrinking while sea levels are rising. Arctic sea ice is disappearing. In the spring, snow melts sooner and plants flower earlier. Animals are moving to higher elevations and latitudes to find cooler conditions. And droughts, floods and wildfires have all gotten more extreme. Models predicted many of these changes, but observations show they are now coming to pass. Continue Reading from The New York Times

From the Collection

link to the heat will kill you first by jeff goodell in the catalog
link to i want a better catastrophe by andrew boyd in the catalog
Link to How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates in the Catalog
Link to Nomad Century by gaia vince in the catalog
link to the climate book by greta thunberg in the catalog
Link to All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine Keeble Wilkinson in the Catalog
link to regeneration ending the climate crisis in one generation by paul  Hawkin in the catalog
Link to Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid by Thor Hanson in the Catalog
Link to Tales of Two Planets by John Freeman in the Catalog
Link to The Atlas of Disappearing Places by Christina Conklin in the Catalog
Link to The Fragile Earth by David Remnick and Henry Finder in the Catalog
Link to Trees in Trouble by Daniel Mathews in the Catalog
Link to The Story of More by Hope Jahren in the Catalog
Link to Don't Even Think about It by George Marshall in the Catalog
Link to The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres in the Catalog
Link to Disposable City by Mario Alejandro Ariza in the Catalog
Link to The Future Earth by Eric Holthaus in the Catalog
Link to The Sustainable Economy by Robert S. Devine in the Catalog
Link to The Climate Report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program in the Catalog