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Portal:Climate change

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The Climate Change Portal

Surface air temperature change over the past 50 years.[1]

In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to Earth's climate. The current rise in global average temperature is primarily caused by humans burning fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel use, deforestation, and some agricultural and industrial practices add to greenhouse gases. These gases absorb some of the heat that the Earth radiates after it warms from sunlight, warming the lower atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas driving global warming, has grown by about 50% and is at levels unseen for millions of years.

Climate change has an increasingly large impact on the environment. Deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Amplified warming in the Arctic has contributed to thawing permafrost, retreat of glaciers and sea ice decline. 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. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include ocean heating, ocean acidification and sea level rise.

Climate change threatens people with increased flooding, extreme heat, increased food and water scarcity, 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. Societies and ecosystems will experience more severe risks without action to limit warming. Adapting to climate change through efforts like flood control measures or drought-resistant crops partially reduces climate change risks, although some limits to adaptation have already been reached. Poorer communities are responsible for a small share of global emissions, yet have the least ability to adapt and are most vulnerable to climate change.

Many climate change impacts have been felt in recent years, with 2023 the warmest on record at +1.48 °C (2.66 °F) since regular tracking began in 1850. Additional warming will increase these impacts and can trigger tipping points, such as melting all 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 would require halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Fossil fuel use can be phased out by conserving energy and switching to energy sources that do not produce significant carbon pollution. These energy sources include wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power. Cleanly generated electricity can replace fossil fuels for powering transportation, heating buildings, and running industrial processes. Carbon can also be removed from the atmosphere, for instance by increasing forest cover and farming with methods that capture carbon in soil. (Full article...)

The Kyoto Protocol (Japanese: 京都議定書, Hepburn: Kyōto Giteisho) was an international treaty which extended the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and that human-made CO2 emissions are driving it. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. There were 192 parties (Canada withdrew from the protocol, effective December 2012) to the Protocol in 2020.

The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to reduce the onset of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to "a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" (Article 2). The Kyoto Protocol applied to the seven greenhouse gases listed in Annex A: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Nitrogen trifluoride was added for the second compliance period during the Doha Round.

The Protocol was based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it acknowledged that individual countries have different capabilities in combating climate change, owing to economic development, and therefore placed the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. (Full article...)
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Credit: NASA
Orbital photograph of human deforestation in progress in the Tierras Bajas project in eastern Bolivia


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Birol in 2019

Fatih Birol is a Turkish economist and energy expert, who has served as the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) since 1 September 2015. During his time in charge of the IEA, he has taken a series of steps to modernise the Paris-based international organisation, including strengthening ties with emerging economies like India and China and stepping up work on the clean energy transition and international efforts to reach net zero emissions.

Birol was on the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people in 2021, has been named by Forbes magazine among the most influential people on the world's energy scene and recognised by the Financial Times in 2017 as Energy Personality of the Year. Birol is the chairman of the World Economic Forum (Davos) Energy Advisory Board. He is a frequent contributor to print and electronic media and delivers numerous speeches each year at major international summits and conferences. (Full article...)

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

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... that coal, cars and cows discharge almost half of greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey?
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This video summarizes how climate change, associated with increased carbon dioxide levels, has affected plant growth.



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  1. ^ "GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (v4)". NASA. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  2. ^ Bhargav, Vishal (2021-10-11). "Climate Change Is Making India's Monsoon More Erratic". www.indiaspend.com. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  3. ^ 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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