Portal:Global Warming
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Portal:Global Warming

The Global warming portal

Average global temperatures from 2010 to 2019 compared to a baseline average from 1951 to 1978. Source: NASA.

The rising average temperature of Earth's climate system, called global warming, is driving changes in rainfall patterns, extreme weather, arrival of seasons, and more. Collectively, global warming and its effects are known as climate change. While there have been prehistoric periods of global warming, observed changes since the mid-20th century have been unprecedented in rate and scale.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that "human influence on climate has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century". These findings have been recognized by the national science academies of major nations and are not disputed by any scientific body of national or international standing. The largest human influence has been the emission of greenhouse gases, with over 90% of the impact from carbon dioxide and methane. Fossil fuel burning is the principal source of these gases, with agricultural emissions and deforestation also playing significant roles. Temperature rise is enhanced by self-reinforcing climate feedbacks, such as loss of snow cover, increased water vapour, and melting permafrost.

Land surfaces are heating faster than the ocean surface, leading to heat waves, wildfires, and the expansion of deserts. Increasing atmospheric energy and rates of evaporation are causing more intense storms and weather extremes, damaging infrastructure and agriculture. Surface temperature increases are greatest in the Arctic and have contributed to the retreat of glaciers, permafrost, and sea ice. Environmental impacts include the extinction or relocation of many species as their ecosystems change, most immediately in coral reefs, mountains, and the Arctic. Surface temperatures would stabilize and decline a little if emissions were cut off, but other impacts will continue for centuries, including rising sea levels from melting ice sheets, rising ocean temperatures, and ocean acidification from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

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Global mean surface temperature change since 1880. Baseline temperature is about 14 °C. Source: NASA GISS
The global temperature record shows the fluctuations of the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans through various spans of time. The most detailed information exists since 1850, when methodical thermometer-based records began. There are numerous estimates of temperatures since the end of the Pleistocene glaciation, particularly during the current Holocene epoch. Older time periods are studied by paleoclimatology. Read more...

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Lawrence Solomon is a Canadian writer on the environment and the executive director of Energy Probe, a Canadian non-governmental environmental policy organization. His writing has appeared in a number of newspapers, including The National Post where he has a column, and he is the author of several books on energy resources, urban sprawl, and global warming, among them The Conserver Solution (1978), Energy Shock (1980), Toronto Sprawls: A History (2007), and The Deniers (2008).

Solomon opposes nuclear power based on its economic cost, has promoted climate change denial, and has been critical of government approaches and policies used to address environmental concerns. Read more...

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Global Vegetation.jpg

Global vegetation – Food, fuel and shelter. Vegetation is one of the most important requirements for human populations around the world. Satellites monitor how "green" different parts of the planet are and how that greenness changes over time. These observations help scientists understand the influence of natural cycles, such as drought and pest outbreaks, on vegetation, as well as human influences, such as land-clearing and global warming.

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  • 2019 was the Northern Hemisphere's hottest summer since records began, according to NOAA.[1]
  • This winter was Europe's hottest since records began.[1]

Did you know

Stefano Lubiana Wines Tasmania harvest panorama.jpg
...that global warming has had a positive effect on the Tasmanian wine industry, allowing it to grow grapes more successfully than what would otherwise be possible?

(Pictured left: "Wine grape harvest at Granton Vineyard in southern Tasmania during 2010)

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References

  1. ^ Carrington, Damian (2020-03-05). "This winter in Europe was hottest on record by far, say scientists". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved .

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