Climate and climate change

What is causing climate change?

climate and climate change

“Climate change” and “global warming” are often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings. Similarly, the terms "weather" and "climate" are sometimes confused, though they refer to events with broadly different spatial- and timescales. Climate change refers to a broad range.

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If you do not accept the policies above and continue to use this website you have been deemed to have accepted. The scientific community and governments across the world are in agreement - the climate is changing. But what is climate change? The climate can be described as the average weather over a period of time. Climate change means a significant change in the measures of climate, such as temperature, rainfall, or wind, lasting for an extended period — decades or longer. The Earth's climate has changed many times during the planet's history, with events ranging from ice ages to long periods of warmth. This interference is resulting in increased air and ocean temperatures, drought, melting ice and snow, rising sea levels, increased rainfall, flooding and other influences.

Protecting nature today means a better planet for future generations. Seventeen of the 18 warmest years have occurred since Eleven percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are caused by deforestation — comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet. The Amazon is a carbon-storing powerhouse. Just 0. Nearly 1 million hectares lost.

An independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the public. Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings.
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Many people do not know what it really amounts to, either due to unreliable sources or deliberate misinformation, which has led to a series of myths about climate change. In these pages, we tackle the subject from an objective, scientific viewpoint , discussing the causes and consequences of climate change and how it should be tackled. First, we need to clarify two concepts often mistaken for synonyms: climate change and global warming. There is an important difference between them, however, given that it is global warming that causes climate change. Without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the planet would be 0 C. Carbon dioxide : caused by the burning mainly of fossil fuels in electricity generation, transport, heating, industry and construction. Harmless to the ozone layer, but increases the greenhouse effect.



Climate change impacts

Millions of people are already suffering from the catastrophic effects of extreme disasters exacerbated by climate change — from prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa to devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. During the summer months for the northern hemisphere in , communities from the Arctic Circle to Greece, Japan, Pakistan and the USA experienced devastating heatwaves and wildfires that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people., Evidence that CO2 emissions are the cause of global warming is very robust. Scientists have known since the early s that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat.

Wayne Swan warns climate change will reshape politics as much as 9/11

Understanding and predicting what the coming winter might bring, or predicting how climate will change over the next century is of vital importance - both for our economy and for society. Climate can be thought of as the average or typical weather conditions we experience. Scientists know that climate varies naturally on many timescales and they know that people are affecting climate - particularly through emissions of greenhouse gases. At the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, scientists are investigating how natural and human factors are affecting climate and what this means for the future. Our climate is powered by the Sun and modified by our atmosphere, which is made up of various gases. Some of the gases in the atmosphere allow sunlight to pass through, and prevent the heat from escaping back out into space, similar to glass in a greenhouse. This is called the natural greenhouse effect Figure 1.

You currently have JavaScript disabled in your web browser, please enable JavaScript to view our website as intended. Here are the instructions of how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Figure b1. Some of the incoming sunlight is reflected directly back into space, especially by bright surfaces such as ice and clouds, and the rest is absorbed by the surface and the atmosphere. Much of this absorbed solar energy is re-emitted as heat longwave or infrared radiation. The atmosphere in turn absorbs and re-radiates heat, some of which escapes to space.

The red line shows model simulations of climate taking human impacts into account. The blue line shows how model simulations look when humans are left out. The black line shows temperature actually changed over the 20th Century. Credit: Commonwealth of Australia Climate is changing. Recent warming is a side effect of many things that people do — like driving cars, heating homes, running factories, and transforming forests into towns. Our landfills and farm animals are to blame for recent climate change too. Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas releases greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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