Causes of Climate Change

    A review of recent developments in climate change science. Part I: Understanding of future change in the large-scale climate system

    P. Good et al. Progress in Physical Geography (2011) 35(3):281-296. This article reviews some of the major lines of recent scientific progress relevant to the choice of global climate policy targets, focusing on changes in understanding since publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4). Developments are highlighted in the following major climate system components: ice sheets; sea ice; the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; tropical forests; and accelerated carbon release from permafrost and ocean hydrates.

    Alaska's climate: Too hot to handle

    J. Whitfield. Nature (2003) 425(6956):338-339. Alaska is warming up more than anywhere else on Earth. Climate researchers are now turning to regional models to find out why—and how to deal with it.

    Black carbon: The dark horse of climate change drivers

    C.W. Schmidt. Environmental Health Perspectives (2011) 119(4):A172-A175. For decades, efforts to slow global warming have mostly aimed to limit heat-trapping emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now scientists are pointing to a different class of warming agents they say also must be targeted to keep global temperatures in check. Dubbed "short-lived climate forcings" (SLCFs), these other emissions—namely, black carbon particles, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone—are even more powerful than CO2 in terms of their warming potential. (PDF, 372 KB)

    Changing Planet

    This video series, produced in 2011 by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation, explores the impact that climate change is having on our planet.

    Climate change 101: Understanding and responding to global climate change

    To inform the climate change dialogue, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the Pew Center on the States have developed this series of brief reports, which provide a reliable and understandable introduction to climate change. They cover climate science and impacts, technological solutions, business solutions, international action, recent action in the U.S. states, and action taken by local governments.

    Climate change: Science and impacts

    Fact sheet published by Center for Sustainable Systems, September 2009. Climate change is altering temperature, precipitation, and sea levels, and will adversely impact human and natural systems including waster resources, human health, human settlements, ecosystems, and biodiversity. (PDF, 695 KB, archived version of webpage)

    Climate commitment in an uncertain world

    K.C. Armour, G.H. Roe. Geophysical Research Letters (2011) doi:10.1029/2010GL045850. Climate commitment—the warming that would still occur given no further human influence—is a fundamental metric for both science and policy. It informs us of the minimum climate change we face and, moreover, depends only on our knowledge of the natural climate system

    Climate literacy: The essential principles of climate sciences

    This guide, published in 2009 by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, presents important information for individuals and communities to understand Earth's climate, impacts of climate change, and approaches for adapting and mitigating change.

    Facts on Arctic climate change: A summary of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    Pamphlet produced by GreenFacts and International Polar Foundation. (PDF, 704.5 KB)

    Frequently asked questions about global warming and climate change: Back to basics

    Illustrated guide to basic information about climate change published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (PDF, 1.56 MB)

    Global pollution and its effect on the climate of the Arctic

    G. Weller. Science of the Total Environment (1995) 160-161:19-24.Climate models indicate an amplification of greenhouse warming in the Arctic, but there are still many uncertainties about the magnitude and timing of the expected change.

    How aircraft emissions contribute to warming

    R. Dalton, Nature News, December 21, 2009. Aviation contributes up to one-fifth of warming in some areas of the Arctic.

    The causes of global climate change

    Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Science Brief No. 1, August 2008. Science has made great strides recently in determining which potential causes are responsible for the climate change that occurred during the twentieth century, providing strong evidence that greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere by human activities are the main cause of contemporary global warming. (PDF. 2.2 MB)

    The influence of human activity in the Arctic on climate and climate impacts

    H.P. Huntington et al. Climatic Change (2007) 82(1-2):77-92. Human activities in the Arctic are often mentioned as recipients of climate-change impacts. Although human activities in the Arctic are generally assumed to be modest, this analysis suggests that those activities may have larger influences on the arctic system than previously thought.

    What is global warming?

    PBS NewsHour Science Report, updated March 17, 2009. Most scientists believe human activity has caused much of the rise in temperature over the past few decades. The increased emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide from car exhaust, and methane and nitrous oxide from industrial plants and agricultural activities, has trapped more heat close to the planet's surface. (Archived version of webpage)

    What's up with the weather?

    Transcript of the NOVA program that aired on PBS on April 15, 2000.

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