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This article is about the change in climate Earth is currently experiencing.

For general discussion of how Earth's climate can change, seeClimate change.

Global mean land-ocean temperature change from 18802011, relative to the 19511980 mean. The black line is the annual mean and the red line is the 5-year running mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. Source: NASA GISS

The map shows the 10-year average (20002009) global mean temperature anomaly relative to the 19511980 mean. The largest temperature increases are in the Arctic and the Antarctic Peninsula. Source:NASA Earth Observatory[1]

Fossil fuel related CO2 emissions compared to five of IPCC's emissions scenarios. The dips are related to global recessions. Data from IPCC SRES scenarios; Data spreadsheet included with International Energy Agency's "CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2010 Highlights"; andSupplemental IEA data. Image source:Skeptical Science

Global warming refers to the current rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 C (1.4 F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three [2] decades. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain most of it is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such [3][4][5][6] as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. These findings are recognized by the national science [7][A] academies of all the major industrialized countries. Climate model projections are summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicate that during the 21st century the

global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 2.9 C (2 to 5.2 F) for their lowestemissions [8] scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 C (4.3 to 11.5 F) for their highest. The ranges of these estimates arise from [9][10] the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern [11] of precipitation, and a probable expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers,permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent occurrence ofextreme weather events including heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall events, species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes, and changes in crop yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, [12] [clarification needed] with projections being more robust in some areas than others. In a 4 C world , the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world. Hence, the ecosystem [13] services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved. Most countries are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate [14] Change(UNFCCC), whose ultimate objective is to prevent "dangerous" anthropogenic (i.e., human[15] induced) climate change. Parties to the UNFCCC have adopted a range of policies designed to reduce [16]:10[17][18][19]:9 greenhouse gas emissions and to assist in adaptation to global [16]:13[19]:10[20][21] warming. Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed that deep cuts in emissions are [22] required, and that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 C (3.6 F) relative to the pre[22][B] [23] industrial level. 2011 analyses by the United Nations Environment Programme andInternational [24] Energy Agency suggest that current efforts to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent to meet the UNFCCC's 2 C target.

1 Observed temperature changes 2 Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings)

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2.1 Greenhouse gases 2.2 Particulates and soot 2.3 Solar activity

3 Feedback 4 Climate models 5 Expected effects

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5.1 Natural systems 5.2 Ecological systems 5.3 Social systems

6 Responses to global warming

6.1 Mitigation

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6.2 Adaptation 6.3 Geoengineering

7 Views on global warming

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7.1 Global warming controversy 7.2 Politics 7.3 Public opinion 7.4 Other views

8 Etymology 9 See also 10 Notes 11 Citations 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links 15 Related information

Observed temperature changes

Main article: Instrumental temperature record

Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions from climate proxies, each smoothed on a decadal scale, with theinstrumental temperature record overlaid in black.

Evidence for warming of the climate system includes observed increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea [25][26][27] level. The Earth's average surface temperature, expressed as a linear trend, rose by0.740.18 C over the period 19062005. The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the period as a whole (0.130.03 C per decade, versus 0.070.02 C per decade). The urban heat island effect is very small, estimated to account for less than 0.002 C of warming per [28] decade since 1900. Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased between 0.13

and 0.22 C (0.22 and 0.4 F) per decade since 1979, according to satellite temperature measurements. Climate proxies show the temperature to have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850, with regionally varying fluctuations such as theMedieval Warm Period and [29] the Little Ice Age. Recent estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the National Climatic Data Center show that 2005 and 2010 tied for the planet's warmest year since reliable, widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 19th century, exceeding 1998 by a few [30][31][32] hundredths of a degree. Current estimates by the Climatic Research Unit(CRU) show 2005 as the second warmest year, behind 1998 with 2003 and 2010 tied for third warmest year, however, the error estimate for individual years ... is at least ten times larger than the differences between these three [33] years. The World Meteorological Organization(WMO) statement on the status of the global climate in 2010 explains that, The 2010 nominal value of +0.53 C ranks just ahead of those of 2005 (+0.52 C) [34] and 1998 (+0.51 C), although the differences between the three years are not statistically significant...

NOAA graph of Global Annual Temperature Anomalies 19502011, showing the El Nio-Southern Oscillation

Temperatures in 1998 were unusually warm because global temperatures are affected by the El NioSouthern Oscillation (ENSO), and the strongest El Nio in the past century occurred during that [35] year. Global temperature is subject to short-term fluctuations that overlay long term trends and can temporarily mask them. The relative stability in temperature from 2002 to 2009 is consistent with such an [36][37] episode. 2010 was also an El Nio year. On the low swing of the oscillation, 2011 as an La Nia year was cooler but it was still the 11th warmest year since records began in 1880. Of the 13 warmest years since 1880, 11 were the years from 2001 to 2011. Over the more recent record, 2011 was the warmest "La Nia year" in the period from 1950 to 2011, and was close to 1997 which was not at the [38] lowest point of the cycle. Temperature changes vary over the globe. Since 1979, land temperatures have increased about twice as [39] fast as ocean temperatures (0.25 C per decade against 0.13 C per decade). Ocean temperatures increase more slowly than land temperatures because of the larger effective heat capacity of the oceans [40] and because the ocean loses more heat by evaporation. The Northern Hemisphere warms faster than the Southern Hemisphere because it has more land and because it has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea-ice cover subject to ice-albedo feedback. Although more greenhouse gases are emitted in the Northern than Southern Hemisphere this does not contribute to the difference in warming because the [41] major greenhouse gases persist long enough to mix between hemispheres. The thermal inertia of the oceans and slow responses of other indirect effects mean that climate can take centuries or longer to adjust to changes in forcing. Climate commitment studies indicate that even if

greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.5 C (0.9 F) would still [42] occur.

Initial causes of temperature changes (external forcings)

Greenhouse effect schematic showing energy flows between space, the atmosphere, and earth's surface. Energy exchanges are expressed in watts per square meter (W/m 2).

This graph, known as the "Keeling Curve", shows the long-term increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations from 19582008. Monthly CO2 measurements display seasonal oscillations in an upward trend; each year's maximum occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring, and declines during its growing season as plants remove some atmospheric CO2.

External forcing refers to processes external to the climate system (though not necessarily external to Earth) that influence climate. Climate responds to several types of external forcing, such asradiative forcing due to changes in atmospheric composition (mainly greenhouse gas concentrations), changes [43]:0 in solar luminosity, volcanic eruptions, and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun.* Attribution of recent climate change focuses on the first three types of forcing. Orbital cycles vary slowly over tens of thousands of years and at present are in an overall cooling trend which would be expected to lead towards an ice age, but the 20th century instrumental temperature record shows a sudden rise in global [44] temperatures.

Greenhouse gases
Main articles: Greenhouse gas, Greenhouse effect, Radiative forcing, and Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. It was proposed by Joseph Fourierin [45] 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Naturally occurring amounts of greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 [46][C] C(59 F). The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 3670% of the

greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 926%; methane (CH4), which causes 49%; [47][48][49] and ozone (O3), which causes 37%. Clouds also affect the radiation balance through cloud forcings similar to greenhouse gases. Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to increased radiative forcing from CO 2, methane, tropospheric ozone, CFCs andnitrous oxide. The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and [50] 148% respectively since 1750. These levels are much higher than at any time during the last 800,000 [51][52][53][54] years, the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores. Less direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values higher than this were last seen about 20 million years [55] ago. Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. The rest of this increase is caused mostly by changes in land-use, [56] particularlydeforestation.

Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, including land-use change.

Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, including land-use change.

Over the last three decades of the 20th century, gross domestic product per capita and population [57] growth were the main drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 emissions are continuing [58][59]:71 to rise due to the burning of fossil fuels and land-use change. Emissions can be attributed to different regions. The two figures opposite show annual greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2005, including land-use change. Attribution of emissions due to land-use change is a controversial [60][61]:289 issue. Emissions scenarios, estimates of changes in future emission levels of greenhouse gases, have been projected that depend upon uncertain economic, sociological, technological, and natural [62] developments. In most scenarios, emissions continue to rise over the century, while in a few, emissions [63][64] are reduced. Fossil fuel reserves are abundant, and will not limit carbon emissions in the 21st [65] century. Emission scenarios, combined with modelling of the carbon cycle, have been used to produce estimates of how atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases might change in the future. Using the six IPCC SRES "marker" scenarios, models suggest that by the year 2100, the atmospheric concentration [66] of CO2 could range between 541 and 970 ppm. This is an increase of 90250% above the concentration in the year 1750. The popular media and the public often confuse global warming with ozone depletion, i.e., the destruction [67][68] of stratospheric ozone by chlorofluorocarbons. Although there are a few areas of linkage, the relationship between the two is not strong. Reduced stratospheric ozone has had a slight cooling

influence on surface temperatures, while increased tropospheric ozonehas had a somewhat larger [69] warming effect.

Particulates and soot

Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. The climatic impacts from particulate forcing could have a large effect on climate through the indirect effect.

Global dimming, a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface, has [70][dated info] partially counteracted global warming from 1960 to the present. The main cause of this dimming is particulates produced by volcanoes and human made pollutants, which exerts a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight. The effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion CO2 and aerosols have largely offset one another in recent decades, so that net warming has been due [71] to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane. Radiative forcing due to particulates is temporally limited due to wet deposition which causes them to have an atmospheric lifetime of one week. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of a century or more, and as such, changes in particulate concentrations [72] will only delay climate changes due to carbon dioxide. In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, particulates have indirect [73] effects on the radiation budget. Sulfates act as cloud condensation nuclei and thus lead to clouds that have more and smaller cloud droplets. These clouds reflect solar radiation more efficiently than clouds [74] with fewer and larger droplets, known as the Twomey effect. This effect also causes droplets to be of more uniform size, which reduces growth of raindrops and makes the cloud more reflective to incoming [75] sunlight, known as the Albrecht effect. Indirect effects are most noticeable in marine stratiform clouds, and have very little radiative effect on convective clouds. Indirect effects of particulates represent the [76] largest uncertainty in radiative forcing. Soot may cool or warm the surface, depending on whether it is airborne or deposited. Atmospheric soot directly absorb solar radiation, which heats the atmosphere and cools the surface. In isolated areas with high soot production, such as rural India, as much as 50% of surface warming due to [77] greenhouse gases may be masked by atmospheric brown clouds. When deposited, especially on [78] glaciers or on ice in arctic regions, the lower surface albedo can also directly heat the surface. The influences of particulates, including black carbon, are most pronounced in the tropics and sub-tropics, particularly in Asia, while the effects of greenhouse gases are dominant in the extratropics and southern [79] hemisphere.

Satellite observations of Total Solar Irradiance from 19792006.

Solar activity
Main articles: Solar variation and Solar wind Variations in solar output have been the cause of past climate changes. The effect of changes in solar forcing in recent decades is uncertain, but small, with some studies showing a slight cooling [81] [43][82][83][84] effect, while others studies suggest a slight warming effect.* Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways. While both increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are expected to warm the troposphere, an increase in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase in greenhouse gases should cool the [43] stratosphere.* Radiosonde (weather balloon) data show the stratosphere has cooled over the period since observations began (1958), though there is greater uncertainty in the early radiosonde record. [85] Satellite observations, which have been available since 1979, also show cooling. A related hypothesis, proposed by Henrik Svensmark, is that magnetic activity of the sun deflects cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation nuclei and thereby affect the [86] climate. Other research has found no relation between warming in recent decades and cosmic [87][88] rays. The influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover is about a factor of 100 lower than needed to [89] explain the observed changes in clouds or to be a significant contributor to present-day climate change. Studies in 2011 have indicated that solar activity may be slowing, and that the next solar cycle could be delayed. To what extent is not yet clear; Solar Cycle 25 is due to start in 2020, but may be delayed to 2022 or even longer. It is even possible that Sol could be heading towards another Maunder Minimum. While there is not yet a definitive link between solar sunspot activity and global temperatures, the scientists conducting the solar activity study believe that global greenhouse gas emissions would prevent [90] any possible cold snap.

Main article: Climate change feedback Feedback is a process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity, and the change in the second quantity in turn changes the first. Positive feedback increases the change in the first quantity while negative feedback reduces it. Feedback is important in the study of global warming because it may amplify or diminish the effect of a particular process. The main positive feedback in the climate system is the water vapor feedback. The main negative feedback is radiative cooling through theStefanBoltzmann law, which increases as the fourth power of

temperature. Positive and negative feedbacks are not imposed as assumptions in the models, but are instead emergent properties that result from the interactions of basic dynamical and thermodynamic processes. A wide range of potential feedback processes exist, such as Arctic methane release and ice-albedo feedback. Consequentially, potentialtipping points may exist, which may have the potential to [91] cause abrupt climate change. For example, the "emission scenarios" used by IPCC in its 2007 report primarily examined greenhouse gas emissions from human sources. In 2011, a joint study by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculated the additional greenhouse gas emissions that would emanate from melted and decomposing permafrost, even if policymakers attempt to [92] reduce human emissions from the currently-unfolding A1FI scenario to the A1B scenario. The team found that even at the much lower level of human emissions, permafrost thawing and decomposition would still result in 190 Gt C of permafrost carbon being added to the atmosphere on top of the human sources. Importantly, the team made three extremely conservative assumptions: (1) that policymakers will embrace the A1B scenario instead of the currently-unfolding A1FI scenario, (2) that all of the carbon would be released as carbon dioxide instead of methane, which is more likely and over a 20 year lifetime has 72x the greenhouse warming power of CO2, and (3) their model did not project additional [92][93] temperature rise caused by the release of these additional gases. These very conservative permafrost carbon dioxide emissions are equivalent to about 1/2 of all carbon released from fossil fuel [94] burning since the dawn of the Industrial Age, and is enough to raise atmospheric concentrations by an additional 8729 ppm, beyond human emissions. Once initiated, permafrost carbon forcing (PCF) isirreversible, is strong compared to other global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, and due to [92] thermal inertia will continue for many years even if atmospheric warming stops. A great deal of this permafrost carbon is actually being released as highly flammable methane instead of carbon [95] dioxide. IPCC 2007's temperature projections did not take any of the permafrost carbon emissions into [92][93] account and therefore underestimate the degree of expected climate change. Other research published in 2011 found that increased emissions of methane could instigate significant feedbacks that amplify the warming attributable to the methane alone. The researchers found that a 2.5fold increase in methane emissions would cause indirect effects that increase the warming 250% above that of the methane alone. For a 5.2-fold increase, the indirect effects would be 400% of the warming [96] from the methane alone.

Climate models
Main article: Global climate model

Calculations of global warming prepared in or before 2001 from a range of climate models under the SRES A2 emissions scenario, which assumes no action is taken to reduce emissions and regionally divided economic development.

The geographic distribution of surface warming during the 21st century calculated by the HadCM3 climate model if a business as usual scenario is assumed for economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. In this figure, the globally averaged warming corresponds to 3.0 C (5.4 F).

A climate model is a computerized representation of the five components of the climate [97] system:Atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, land surface, and biosphere. Such models are based on physical principles including fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and radiative transfer. There can be components which represent air movement, temperature, clouds, and other atmospheric properties; ocean temperature, salt content, and circulation; ice cover on land and sea; the transfer of heat and [98] moisture from soil and vegetation to the atmosphere; chemical and biological processes; and others. Although researchers attempt to include as many processes as possible, simplifications of the actual climate system are inevitable because of the constraints of available computer power and limitations in knowledge of the climate system. Results from models can also vary due to different greenhouse gas inputs and the model's climate sensitivity. For example, the uncertainty in IPCC's 2007 projections is caused by (1) the use of multiple models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations, (2) the use of differing estimates of humanities' future greenhouse gas emissions, (3) any additional emissions from climate feedbacks that were not included in the models IPCC used to prepare its report, [92] i.e., greenhouse gas releases from permafrost. The models do not assume the climate will warm due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases. Instead the models predict how greenhouse gases will interact with radiative transfer and other physical processes. One of the mathematical results of these complex equations is a prediction whether warming [99] or cooling will occur. Recent research has called special attention to the need to refine models with respect to the effect of [100] [101][102][103] clouds and the carbon cycle. Models are also used to help investigate the causes of recent climate change by comparing the observed changes to those that the models project from various natural and human-derived causes. Although these models do not unambiguously attribute the warming that occurred from approximately 1910 to 1945 to either natural variation or human effects, they do indicate that the warming since 1970 is dominated by [43] man-made greenhouse gas emissions.* The physical realism of models is tested by examining their ability to simulate current or past climates.

Current climate models produce a good match to observations of global temperature changes over [105] the last century, but do not simulate all aspects of climate. Not all effects of global warming are accurately predicted by the climate models used by the IPCC. ObservedArctic shrinkage has been faster [106] than that predicted. Precipitation increased proportional to atmospheric humidity, and hence [107][108] significantly faster than current global climate models predict.

[as of?]

Expected effects
Main articles: Effects of global warming and Regional effects of global warming "Detection" is the process of demonstrating that climate has changed in some defined statistical sense, without providing a reason for that change. Detection does not imply attribution of the detected change to a particular cause. "Attribution" of causes of climate change is the process of establishing the most likely [109] causes for the detected change with some defined level of confidence. Detection and attribution may [110] also be applied to observed changes in physical, ecological and social systems.

Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. In the 1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance, reported to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and theNational Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

Natural systems
Global warming has been detected in a number of systems. Some of these changes, e.g., based on the instrumental temperature record, have been described in the section on temperature changes. Rising sea [111] levels and observed decreases in snow and ice extent are consistent with warming. Most of the [D] increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is, with high probability, attributable [112] to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. Even with current policies to reduce emissions, global emissions are still expected to continue to grow [113] over the coming decades. Over the course of the 21st century, increases in emissions at or above their current rate would very likely induce changes in the climate system larger than those observed in the 20th century. In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, across a range of future emission scenarios, model-based estimates of sea level rise for the end of the 21st century (the year 20902099, relative to 19801999)

range from 0.18 to 0.59 m. These estimates, however, were not given a likelihood due to a lack of scientific understanding, nor was an upper bound given for sea level rise. On the timescale of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in even higher sea level rise. Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, could contribute 46 metres (13 to [114] 20 ft) or more to sea level rise. Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land, with most warming at high northern latitudes, and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic [113] Ocean. Snow cover area and sea ice extent are expected to decrease, with the Arctic expected to be [115] largely ice-free in September by 2037. The frequency of hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy precipitation will very likely increase.

Ecological systems
In terrestrial ecosystems, the earlier timing of spring events, and poleward and upward shifts in plant and [111] animal ranges, have been linked with high confidence to recent warming. Future climate change is [113] expected to particularly affect certain ecosystems, including tundra,mangroves, and coral reefs. It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher atmospheric CO 2 levels, combined with higher [116] global temperatures. Overall, it is expected that climate change will result in the extinction of many [117] species and reduced diversity of ecosystems.

Social systems
Vulnerability of human societies to climate change mainly lies in the effects of extreme weather events [118] rather than gradual climate change. Impacts of climate change so far include adverse effects on small [119] [120] islands, adverse effects on indigenous populations in high-latitude areas, and small but discernable [121] effects on human health. Over the 21st century, climate change is likely to adversely affect hundreds of millions of people through increased coastal flooding, reductions in water supplies, [122] increased malnutrition and increased health impacts. Future warming of around 3 C (by 2100, relative to 19902000) could result in increased crop yields in mid- and high-latitude areas, but in low-latitude areas, yields could decline, increasing the risk of [119] malnutrition. A similar regional pattern of net benefits and costs could occur for economic (market[121] sector) effects. Warming above 3 C could result in crop yields falling in temperate regions, leading to [123] a reduction in global food production. Most economic studies suggest losses of world gross domestic [124][125] product (GDP) for this magnitude of warming.

Responses to global warming

Main article: Climate change mitigation See also: Fee and dividend Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. The IPCC defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or enhance the capacity of carbon [126] sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere. Many countries, bothdeveloping and developed, are [59]:192 aiming to use cleaner, less polluting, technologies. Use of these technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. Policies include targets for emissions reductions,

increased use of renewable energy, and increased energy efficiency. Studies indicate substantial [127] potential for future reductions in emissions. To limit warming to the lower range in the overall IPCC's "Summary Report for Policymakers" means adopting policies that will limit emissions to one of the significantly different scenarios described in the full [129] report. This will become more and more difficult, since each year of high emissions will require even more drastic measures in later years to stabilize at a desired atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases, and energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, breaking [130] the prior record set in 2008. Since even in the most optimistic scenario, fossil fuels are going to be used for years to come, mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage, a process that traps CO2 produced by factories and gas or [131] coal power stations and then stores it, usually underground.

Main article: Adaptation to global warming Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change may be planned, e.g., by local or national government, or spontaneous, i.e., done privately without government [132] [127] intervention. The ability to adapt is closely linked to social andeconomic development. Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis. The barriers, limits, and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood.

A body of the scientific literature has developed which considers alternative geoengineering techniques [133] for climate change mitigation. In the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (published in 2007) Working Group III (WG3) assessed some "apparently promising" geoengineering techniques, including ocean fertilization, capturing and sequestering CO2, and techniques for reducing the amount of sunlight [133] absorbed by the Earth's atmospheric system. The IPCC's overall conclusion was that geoengineering [134] options remained "largely speculative and unproven, (...) with the risk of unknown side-effects." In the [134] IPCC's judgement, reliable cost estimates for geoengineering options had not yet been published. As most geoengineering techniques would affect the entire globe, deployment would likely require global public acceptance and an adequate global legal and regulatory framework, as well as significant further [135] scientific research.

Views on global warming

Main articles: Global warming controversy and Politics of global warming See also: Scientific opinion on climate change and Public opinion on climate change There are different views over what the appropriate policy response to climate change should [136] be. These competing views weigh the benefits of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases against the costs. In general, it seems likely that climate change will impose greater damages and risks in poorer [137] regions.

Global warming controversy

The global warming controversy refers to a variety of disputes, significantly more pronounced in [138][139] the popular media than in the scientific literature, regarding the nature, causes, and consequences of global warming. The disputed issues include the causes of increasedglobal average air temperature, especially since the mid-20th century, whether this warming trend is unprecedented or within normal climatic variations, whether humankind has contributed significantly to it, and whether the increase is wholly or partially an artifact of poor measurements. Additional disputes concern estimates of climate sensitivity, predictions of additional warming, and what the consequences of global warming will be. In the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. [140][141] No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view, though a few organisations hold non-committal positions. From 1990-1997 in the United States, conservative think tanks mobilized to undermine the legitimacy of global warming as a social problem. They challenged the scientific evidence; argued that global warming [142] will have benefits; and asserted that proposed solutions would do more harm than good.

Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention refers explicitly to "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations." [143] In order to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of CO2, emissions worldwide would need to be dramatically reduced from their present level.[144]

Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate [145] Change(UNFCCC). The ultimate objective of the Convention is to prevent "dangerous" human [146] interference of the climate system. As is stated in the Convention, this requires that GHG concentrations are stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change, food production is not threatened, and economic development can proceed in a [147] sustainable fashion. The Framework Convention was agreed in 1992, but since then, global emissions [148] have risen. During negotiations, the G77 (a lobbying group in the United Nations representing 133 [149]:4 developing nations) pushed for a mandate requiring developed countries to "[take] the lead" in [150] reducing their emissions. This was justified on the basis that: the developed world's emissions had contributed most to the stock of GHGs in the atmosphere; per-capita emissions (i.e., emissions per head of population) were still relatively low in developing countries; and the emissions of developing countries [61]:290 would grow to meet their development needs. This mandate was sustained in the Kyoto Protocol to [61]:290 [151] the Framework Convention, which entered into legal effect in 2005. In ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, most developed countries accepted legally binding commitments to limit [151] their emissions. These first-round commitments expire in 2012. US President George W. Bush rejected the treaty on the basis that "it exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US [149]:5 economy." At the 15th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, held in 2009 at Copenhagen, several UNFCCC Parties [152] produced the Copenhagen Accord. Parties associated with the Accord (140 countries, as of November [153]:9 [154] 2010) aim to limit the future increase in global mean temperature to below2 C. A preliminary assessment published in November 2010 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

suggests a possible "emissions gap" between the voluntary pledges made in the Accord and the emissions cuts necessary to have a "likely" (greater than 66% probability) chance of meeting [153]:1014 the 2 C objective. The UNEP assessment takes the 2 C objective as being measured against the pre-industrial global mean temperature level. To having a likely chance of meeting the 2 Cobjective, assessed studies generally indicated the need for global emissions to peak before 2020, with substantial declines in emissions thereafter. The 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) was held at Cancn in 2010. It produced an agreement, not a binding treaty, that the Parties should take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet a goal of limiting global warming to 2 C above pre-industrial temperatures. It also recognized the need to [155] consider strengthening the goal to a global average rise of 1.5 C.

Public opinion
The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with English-speaking territoriesand do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (October 2011)

Based on Rasmussen polling of 1,000 adults in the USA conducted 2930 July 2011.[156]

In 20072008 Gallup Polls surveyed 127 countries. Over a third of the world's population was unaware of global warming, with people in developing countries less aware than those indeveloped, and those in Africa the least aware. Of those aware, Latin America leads in belief that temperature changes are a result of human activities while Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle East, and a few countries from the [157] Former Soviet Union lead in the opposite belief. In the Western world, opinions over the concept and the appropriate responses are divided. Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University said that "results show the different stages of engagement about global warming on each side of the Atlantic", adding, "The debate in Europe is about what action needs to be taken, while many in the US still debate whether climate change [158][159] is happening." A 2010 poll by the Office of National Statistics found that 75% of UK respondents were at least "fairly convinced" that the world's climate is changing, compared to 87% in a similar survey [160] in 2006. A January 2011 ICM poll in the UK found 83% of respondents viewed climate change as a current or imminent threat, while 14% said it was no threat. Opinion was unchanged from an August 2009 [161] poll asking the same question, though there had been a slight polarisation of opposing views. A survey in October, 2009 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed decreasing public perception in the US that global warming was a serious problem. All political persuasions showed reduced concern with lowest concern among Republicans, only 35% of whom considered there to be [162] solid evidence of global warming. The cause of this marked difference in public opinion between the US and the global public is uncertain but the hypothesis has been advanced that clearer communication

by scientists both directly and through the media would be helpful in adequately informing the American [163] public of the scientific consensus and the basis for it. The US public appears to be unaware of the extent of scientific consensus regarding the issue, with 59% believing that scientists disagree [164] "significantly" on global warming. By 2010, with 111 countries surveyed, Gallup determined that there was a substantial decrease in the number of Americans and Europeans who viewed Global Warming as a serious threat. In the US, a little over half the population (53%) now viewed it as a serious concern for either themselves or their families; this was 10% below the 2008 poll (63%). Latin America had the biggest rise in concern, with 73% saying [165] global warming was a serious threat to their families. That global poll also found that people are more likely to attribute global warming to human activities than to natural causes, except in the USA where [166] nearly half (47%) of the population attributed global warming to natural causes. On the other hand, in May 2011 a joint poll by Yale and George Mason Universities found that nearly half the people in the USA (47%) attribute global warming to human activities, compared to 36% blaming it on natural causes. Only 5% of the 35% who were "disengaged", "doubtful", or "dismissive" of global warming were aware that 97% of publishing US climate scientists agree global warming is happening and is [167] primarily caused by humans. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that the public's belief as to the causes of global [168] warming depends on the wording choice used in the polls. In the United States, according to the Public Policy Institute of California's (PPIC) eleventh annual survey on environmental policy issues, 75% said they believe global warming is a very serious or somewhat [169] serious threat to the economy and quality of life in California. A July 2011 Rasmussen Reports poll found that 69% of adults in the USA believe it is at least somewhat [156] likely that some scientists have falsified global warming research. A September 2011 Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that Britons (43%) are less likely than Americans (49%) or Canadians (52%) to say that "global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities." The same poll found that 20% of Americans, 20% of [170] Britons and 14% of Canadians think "global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven."

Other views
Most scientists agree that humans are contributing to observed climate change. National science [172] academies have called on world leaders for policies to cut global emissions. However, some scientists [171][173][174] and non-scientists question aspects of climate-change science. Organizations such as the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, conservative commentators, and some companies such as ExxonMobilhave challenged IPCC climate change scenarios, funded scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus, and provided their own projections of the economic cost of [175][176][177][178] stricter controls. In the finance industry, Deutsche Bank has set up an institutional climate [179] [180] change investment division (DBCCA), which has commissioned and published research on the [181] issues and debate surrounding global warming. Environmental organizations and public figures have emphasized changes in the current climate and the risks they entail, while promoting adaptation to [182] changes in infrastructural needs and emissions reductions. Some fossil fuel companies have scaled [183] [184] back their efforts in recent years, or called for policies to reduce global warming.

The term global warming was probably first used in its modern sense on 8 August 1975 in a science paper by Wally Broecker in the journalScience called "Are we on the brink of a pronounced global [185][186][187] warming?". Broecker's choice of words was new and represented a significant recognition that the climate was warming; previously the phrasing used by scientists was "inadvertent climate modification," because while it was recognized humans could change the climate, no one was sure which [188] direction it was going. The National Academy of Sciences first used global warming in a 1979 paper called the Charney Report, it said: "if carbon dioxide continues to increase, [we find] no reason to doubt [189] that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible." The report made a distinction between referring to surface temperature changes as global warming, while [188] referring to other changes caused by increased CO2 asclimate change. Global warming became more widely popular after 1988 when NASA climate scientist James [188] Hansen used the term in a testimony to Congress. He said: "global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the [190] greenhouse effect and the observed warming." His testimony was widely reported and [188] afterward global warmingwas commonly used by the press and in public discourse.

See also
Global warming portal

Book: Global warming

Wikipedia books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print.

Environmental impact of the coal industry Glossary of climate change History of climate change science Index of climate change articles

A. ^ The 2001 joint statement was signed by the national academies of science of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, the People's Republic of China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK.

The 2005 statement added Japan, Russia, and the U.S.

The 2007 statement added Mexico and South Africa. The Network of African Science Academies, and the Polish Academy of Sciences have issued separate statements. Professional scientific societies include American Astronomical Society, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical

Union, American Institute of Physics, American Meteorological Society, American Physical Society, American Quaternary Association, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, European Geosciences Union, European Science Foundation, Geological Society of America, Geological Society of Australia, Geological Society of London-Stratigraphy Commission,InterAcademy Council, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, International Union for Quaternary Research, National Association of Geoscience Teachers, National Research Council (US), Royal Meteorological Society, and World Meteorological Organization. B. ^ Earth has already experienced almost 1/2 of the 2.0 C (3.6 F)described in the Cancun Agreement. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 C (1.4 F)with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades.

C. ^ Note that the greenhouse effect produces an average worldwide temperature increase of about 33 C (59 F) compared to black body predictions without the greenhouse effect, not an averagesurface temperature of 33 C (91 F). The average worldwide surface temperature is about 14 C (57 F).

D. ^ In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007, this attribution is given a probability of greater than 90%, based on expert judgement.

According to the US National Research Council Report

Understanding and Responding to Climate Change published in 2008, "[most] scientists agree that the warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

1. 2. ^ 2009 Ends Warmest Decade on Record. NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day, 22 January 2010. ^
a b

[Notes-FullReport] America's Climate Choices. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

2011. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-309-14585-5. "The average temperature of the Earths surface increased by about 1.4 F (0.8 C) over the past 100 years, with about 1.0 F (0.6 C) of this warming occurring over just the past three decades" 3. ^ "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level." IPCC, Synthesis Report,Section 1.1: Observations of climate change, in IPCC AR4 SYR 2007. 4. ^ "Three different approaches are used to describe uncertainties each with a distinct form of language. * * * Where uncertainty in specific outcomes is assessed using expert judgment and statistical analysis of a body of evidence (e.g. observations or model results), then the following likelihood ranges are used to express the assessed probability of occurrence: virtually certain >99%; extremely likely >95%; very likely >90%......" IPCC, Synthesis Report, Treatment of Uncertainty, in IPCC AR4 SYR 2007.

5. 6.

^ IPCC, Synthesis Report, Section 2.4: Attribution of climate change, in IPCC AR4 SYR 2007. ^ [Notes-SciPanel] America's Climate Choices: Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change; National Research Council (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.ISBN 0309145880. "(p1) ... there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations. * * * (p21-22) Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities."

7. 8.

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Association of British Insurers (200506) (PDF). Financial Risks of Climate Change. Ammann, Caspar; et al. (2007). "Solar influence on climate during the past millennium: Results from transient simulations with the NCAR Climate Simulation Model" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104 (10): 3713 3718. Bibcode 2007PNAS..104.3713A.doi:10.1073/pnas.0605064103. PMC 1810336.PMID 17360418. "Simulations with only natural forcing components included yield an early 20th century peak warming of 0.2 C (1950 AD), which is reduced to about half by the end of the century because of increased volcanism"

Barnett, TP; Adam, JC; Lettenmaier, DP; Adam, J. C.; Lettenmaier, D. P. (17 November 2005). "Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions" (abstract). Nature 438(7066): 303309. Bibcode 2005Natur.438..303B.doi:10.1038/nature04141. PMID 16292301.

Behrenfeld, MJ; O'malley, RT; Siegel, DA; Mcclain, CR; Sarmiento, JL; Feldman, GC; Milligan, AJ; Falkowski, PG et al; et al. (7 December 2006). "Climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity"(PDF). Nature 444 (7120): 752 755. Bibcode 2006Natur.444..752B.doi:10.1038/nature05317. PMID 17151666.

Choi, Onelack; Fisher, Ann (May 2005). "The Impacts of Socioeconomic Development and Climate Change on Severe Weather Catastrophe Losses: Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) and the U.S". Climate Change 58 (12): 149 170.doi:10.1023/A:1023459216609.

Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Meier, Mark F. (2005) (PDF). Glaciers and the Changing Earth System: a 2004 Snapshot. Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research Occasional Paper #58. ISSN 0069-6145.

Emanuel, K (4 August 2005). "Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years" (PDF). Nature 436 (7051): 686 688. Bibcode 2005Natur.436..686E. doi:10.1038/nature03906.PMID 16056221.

Hansen, James; et al. (3 June 2005). "Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications" (PDF). Science 308 (5727): 1431 1435. Bibcode 2005Sci...308.1431H.doi:10.1126/science.1110252. PMID 15860591.

Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Hmelo, Laura R.; Sylva, Sean P. (21 February 2003). "Molecular Fossil Record of Elevated Methane Levels in Late Pleistocene Coastal Waters". Science 299 (5610): 1214 1217.Bibcode 2003Sci...299.1214H. doi:10.1126/science.1079601.PMID 12595688.

Hirsch, Tim (11 January 2006). "Plants revealed as methane source". BBC. Hoyt, Douglas V.; Schatten, Kenneth H. (199311). "A discussion of plausible solar irradiance variations, 1700 1992". Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (A11): 18,895 18,906. Bibcode1993JGR....9818895H. doi:10.1029/93JA01944.

Karnaukhov, A. V. (2001). "Role of the Biosphere in the Formation of the Earth's Climate: The Greenhouse Catastrophe" (PDF).Biophysics 46 (6).

Kenneth, James P.; et al. (14 February 2003). Methane Hydrates in Quaternary Climate Change: The Clathrate Gun Hypothesis. American Geophysical Union.

Keppler, Frank; et al. (18 January 2006). "Global Warming The Blame Is not with the Plants". Max Planck Society.

Lean, Judith L.; Wang, Y.M.; Sheeley, N.R. (200212). "The effect of increasing solar activity on the Sun's total and open magnetic flux during multiple cycles: Implications for solar forcing of climate" (abstract). Geophysical Research Letters 29 (24): 2224. Bibcode2002GeoRL..29x..77L. doi:10.1029/2002GL015880.

Lerner, K. Lee; Lerner, K. Lee; Wilmoth, Brenda (26 July 2006).Environmental issues: essential primary sources. Thomson Gale.ISBN 1-4144-0625-8.

McKibben, Bill (2011). The Global Warming Reader. OR Books.ISBN 978-1-935928-36-2. Muscheler, Raimund, R; Joos, F; Mller, SA; Snowball, I; et al. (28 July 2005). "Climate: How unusual is today's solar activity?" (PDF).Nature 436 (7012): 1084 1087. Bibcode 2005Natur.436E...3M.doi:10.1038/nature04045. PMID 16049429.

Oerlemans, J. (29 April 2005). "Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records" (PDF). Science 308 (5722): 675 677. Bibcode2005Sci...308..675O. doi:10.1126/science.1107046.PMID 15746388.

Purse, BV; Mellor, PS; Rogers, DJ; Samuel, AR; Mertens, PP; Baylis, M;et al. (February 2005). "Climate change and the recent emergence of bluetongue in Europe" (abstract). Nature Reviews Microbiology 3(2): 171 181. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1090. PMID 15685226.

Revkin, Andrew C (5 November 2005). "Rise in Gases Unmatched by a History in Ancient Ice". The New York Times.

Royal Society (2005). "Joint science academies' statement: Global response to climate change". Retrieved 19 April 2009.

Ruddiman, William F. (15 December 2005). Earth's Climate Past and Future. New York: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7167-3741-8.

Ruddiman, William F. (1 August 2005). Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12164-8.

Solanki, SK; Usoskin, IG; Kromer, B; Schssler, M; Beer, J; et al. (23 October 2004). "Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years" (PDF). Nature 431 (7012): 1084 1087. Bibcode 2004Natur.431.1084S.doi:10.1038/nature02995. PMID 15510145.

Solanki, Sami K.; et al. (28 July 2005). "Climate: How unusual is today's solar activity? (Reply)" (PDF). Nature 436 (7050): E4E5.Bibcode 2005Natur.436E...4S. doi:10.1038/nature04046.

Sowers, Todd (10 February 2006). "Late Qua


We must better understand, manage and value our freshwater ecosystems, linking them across large watersheds.

Fresh water is essential for life


Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming. You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely. Here are 10 simple actions you can take to help reduce global warming. 1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Ads BiodiversityA major environmental issue. Read the article on Carbon SequestrationDevelop knowledge and understanding of Carbon Capture and Green Packaging R&D ToolFind green packaging improvements & upload to Retail Link & Scorecard! 2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning Adding insulation to your walls and 2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home. Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. 3. Change a Light Bulb Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road. 4. Drive Less and Drive Smart 2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.

Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. 3. Change a Light Bulb Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road. 4. Drive Less and Drive Smart 4. Drive Less and Drive Smart Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school. When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. 5. Buy Energy-Efficient Products When it's time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energyefficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs. Avoid products that come with excess packaging, especially molded plastic and other packaging that can't be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 percent, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. 6. Use Less Hot Water Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old. Buy lowflow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households. Use the energy-saving settings on yourdishwasher and let the dishes air-dry. 7. Use the "Off" Switch

7. Use the "Off" Switch Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you're not using them. It's also a good idea to turn off the water when you're not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You'll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource. 8. Plant a Tree If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

Ads Water Treatment ChemicalsIndustrial Water Treatment Chemical For Cooling Water Waste paperTough methods for paper sorting! Use better recycling 9. Get a Report Card from Your Utility Company Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades. 10. Encourage Others to Conse 0. Encourage Others to Conserve Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment. These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

Readers Respond:

Climategate: the importance of global warming to public health and the need for ethical practices in climate change research
Posted on December 1, 2009 by Karen | Leave a comment

Blog contributor: Jessica M. Keralis

A new scandal has added new fuel to the already-blazing fire of the global warming debate. On November 17, a hacker calling himself FOI (Freedom of Information) released an archive of stolen e-mails, data files, and source code from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University in Norwich, England. The CRU is one of the major institutions conducting research on anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change, and its data has been a major contributor to the work of the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC). The e-mails show CRU scientists dis odge freedom of information requests, discredit scientists with opposing views, and influence the peer-review process of scientific journals. One message in particular shows Phil Jones (the head of the CRU) discussing how to exclude certain articles from the IPCCs report, which has been used to inform and drive policy decisions in the U.S.

The global warming debate extends into nearly every research field, and public health is no exception. Climate change may increase the frequency of hurricanes and other natural disasters by affecting weather patterns and increase the range of disease vectors. Hurricanes can cause the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera and salmonellosis. Vector-borne diseases of concern include leishmaniasis, dengue fever, and, in particular, malaria. Malaria, which infects approximately 500,000 people and can cause more than two million deaths per

year, has received significant attention as a public health threat that could be exacerbated by global warming, though there is some debate on exactly how much climate plays a role in its range.

With so much at stake, the need for good-quality, transparent research on the extent and preventability of climate change is crucial. In the preface of the UN bookClimate change and human health, the editors emphasize the need for rigorous and balanced evidence not only of the breadth and magnitude of climate change effects, but also of how they are distributed across populations, and over time from the scientific community. Unfortunately, the release of the files from the CRU and the ensuing scandal, dubbed climategate by global warming skeptics, provides the exact opposite. The pettiness and unethical behavior of these scientists damages the credibility of their research. In particular, their influence on the IPCCs reports calls its integrity into question. All of this distracts attention from the central question of exactly how much human activity influences the climate and what can be done to remedy what, if any, adverse affects it has. If human activity is really driving global warming, then our governments and world leaders need to do something about it. If not, then the question needs to be put to rest so that scarce resources can be directed to where theyre needed. Unethical practices and petty squabbling among climate scientists accomplishes neither and does nothing to guide us in this debate that affects so much of what we do. When science is compromised to influence a cause, both are lost.

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