Portal:Climate change

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The Climate Change Portal

Average surface air temperatures from 2011 to 2020 compared to the 1951-1980 average. Source: NASA.

Contemporary climate change includes both global warming and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current rise in global average temperature is more rapid and is primarily caused by humans. Burning fossil fuels adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, most importantly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Smaller contributions come from agriculture, industrial processes, and forest loss. Greenhouse gases warm the air by absorbing heat radiated by the Earth, trapping the heat near the surface. Greenhouse gas emissions amplify this effect, causing the Earth to take in more energy from sunlight than it can radiate back into space.

Due to climate change, deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Increased warming in the Arctic has contributed to melting permafrost, glacial retreat and sea ice loss. Higher temperatures are also causing more intense storms, droughts, and other weather extremes. Rapid environmental change in mountains, coral reefs, and the Arctic is forcing many species to relocate or become extinct. Climate change threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased flooding, extreme heat, more disease, and economic loss. Human migration and conflict can also be a result. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include sea level rise, and warmer, more acidic oceans.

Many of these impacts are already felt at the current 1.2 °C (2.2 °F) level of warming. Additional warming will increase these impacts and may trigger tipping points, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations collectively agreed to keep warming "well under 2 °C". However, with pledges made under the Agreement, global warming would still reach about 2.7 °C (4.9 °F) by the end of the century. Limiting warming to 1.5 °C will require halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.


Making deep cuts in emissions will require switching away from burning fossil fuels and towards using electricity generated from low-carbon sources. This includes phasing out coal-fired power plants, vastly increasing use of wind, solar, and other types of renewable energy, and taking measures to reduce energy use. Electricity generated from non-carbon-emitting sources will need to replace fossil fuels for powering transportation, heating buildings, and operating industrial facilities. Carbon can also be removed from the atmosphere, for instance by increasing forest cover and by farming with methods that capture carbon in soil. While communities may adapt to climate change through efforts like better coastline protection, they cannot avert the risk of severe, widespread, and permanent impacts. (Full article...)

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Arctic sea ice decline has occurred in recent decades and is an effect of climate change; sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has melted more than it refreezes in the winter. Global warming, caused by greenhouse gas forcing is responsible for the decline in Arctic sea ice. Implications of arctic sea ice decline may include: Ice-free summer, amplified arctic warming, polar vortex disruption, atmospheric chemistry changes, atmospheric regime changes, changes to plant, animal, and microbial life; changed shipping options and other impacts on humans.

Sea ice in the arctic is currently in decline in area, extent, and volume, and has been accelerating during the early twenty‐first century, with a decline rate of −4.7% per decade (it has declined over 50% since the first satellite records). It is also thought that summertime sea ice will cease to exist sometime during the 21st century. This sea ice loss is one of the main drivers of surface-based Arctic amplification. Sea ice area means the total area covered by ice, whereas sea ice extent is the area of ocean with at least 15% sea ice, while the volume is the total amount of ice in the Arctic.

The region is at its warmest in at least 4,000 years and the Arctic-wide melt season has lengthened at a rate of five days per decade (from 1979 to 2013), dominated by a later autumn freeze-up. Sea ice changes are a mechanism for polar amplification. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (2021) stated that Arctic sea ice area will likely drop below 1 million km2 in at least some Septembers before 2050. (Full article...)
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The Ocean Circulation Conveyor Belt. The ocean plays a major role in the distribution of the planet's heat through deep sea circulation. This simplified illustration shows this "conveyor belt" circulation.

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Hansen in October 2005
James Edward Hansen (born March 29, 1942) is an American adjunct professor directing the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is best known for his research in climatology, his 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to avoid dangerous climate change. In recent years he has become a climate activist to mitigate the effects of global warming, on a few occasions leading to his arrest. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various climate-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Vineyard at Wyken Hall - geograph.org.uk - 216836.jpg
... that global warming is cited as the main reason why southern England is becoming suitable for wine production and that it has similar soils and latitude to the Champagne region of France?

(Pictured left: A vineyard in Wyken, a suburb of Coventry, England)

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This time series, based on satellite data, shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. The September 2010 extent was the third lowest in the satellite record.

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References

  1. ^ Bhargav, Vishal (2021-10-11). "Climate Change Is Making India's Monsoon More Erratic". www.indiaspend.com. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  2. ^ Tiwari, Dr Pushp Raj; Conversation, The. "Nobel prize: Why climate modellers deserved the physics award – they've been proved right again and again". phys.org. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
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