Global warming by mnmgroup

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									Global warming
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For past climate change, see paleoclimatology and geologic temperature record.

Global mean surface temperature difference relative to the 1961–1990 average

Comparison of ground based (blue) and satellite based (red: UAH; green: RSS) records of temperature variations since 1979. Trends plotted since January 1982.

Mean surface temperature change for the period 2000 to 2009 relative to the average temperatures from 1951 to 1980. [1]

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected

continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) between the start and the end of the 20th

century.[2][A] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of

the 20th century was very likely caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gasesresulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning

and deforestation.[2] The IPCC also concludes that variations in natural phenomena such as solar radiation andvolcanic eruptions had a small cooling

effect after 1950.[3][4] These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science,[B]including all of

the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.[5]

Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0

to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century.[2] The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas

concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. Most studies focus on the period leading up to the year 2100.

However, warming is expected to continue beyond 2100 even if emissions stop, because of the large heat capacity of the oceans and the long lifetime

of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.[6][7]
    An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion

    of subtropical deserts.[8]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 include changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions,

    and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional

    variations is uncertain.[9]

    Political and public debate continues regarding global warming and what actions to take in response. The available options are mitigation to reduce

    further emissions;adaptation to reduce the damage caused by warming; and, more speculatively, geoengineering to reverse global warming. Most

    national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.



                 1 Temperature changes

                 2 External forcings

      o                              2.1 Greenhouse gases

      o                              2.2 Aerosols and soot

      o                              2.3 Solar variation

                 3 Feedback

                 4 Climate models

                 5 Attributed and expected effects

      o                              5.1 Environmental

      o                              5.2 Economic

                 6 Responses to global warming

      o                              6.1 Mitigation

      o                              6.2 Adaptation

      o                              6.3 Geoengineering

                 7 Debate and skepticism

                 8 See also

                 9 Notes

                 10 References

                 11 Further reading

                 12 External links

    Temperature changes

    Main article: Temperature record
Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions, each smoothed on a decadal scale. The instrumental record and the unsmoothed annual

value for 2004 are shown in black.

The most common measure of global warming is the trend in globally averaged temperature near the Earth's surface. Expressed as a linear trend, this

temperature rose by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005. The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the

period as a whole (0.13 ± 0.03 °C per decade, versus 0.07 °C ± 0.02 °C per decade). The urban heat island effect is estimated to account for about

0.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900. [10] 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. Temperature is believed to have been relatively stable over the one or two

thousand years before 1850, with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.[11]

Estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Climatic Data Center show that 2005 was the warmest year since reliable,

widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 1800s, exceeding the previous record set in 1998 by a few hundredths of a

degree.[12][13] Estimates prepared by theWorld Meteorological Organization and the Climatic Research Unit show 2005 as the second warmest year,

behind 1998.[14][15] Temperatures in 1998 were unusually warm because the strongest El Niño in the past century occurred during that year.[16] 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 episode.[17][18]

Temperature changes vary over the globe. Since 1979, land temperatures have increased about twice as fast as ocean temperatures (0.25 °C per

decade against 0.13 °C per decade).[19] Ocean temperatures increase more slowly than land temperatures because of the larger effective heat

capacity of the oceans and because the ocean loses more heat by evaporation.[20] 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 major greenhouse gases persist long enough to mix between hemispheres. [21]

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 occur.[22]

External forcings

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 as radiative forcing due to changes in atmospheric composition (mainly greenhouse gas concentrations),
changes in solar luminosity, volcanic eruptions, and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun.[3] Attribution of recent climate changefocuses on the first

three types of forcing. Orbital cycles vary slowly over tens of thousands of years and thus are too gradual to have caused the temperature changes

observed in the past century.

Greenhouse gases
Main articles: Greenhouse effect and Radiative forcing
For more details on this topic, see Atmospheric CO2.

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).

Recent atmospheric carbon dioxide(CO2) increases. Monthly CO 2measurements display seasonal oscillations in overall yearly uptrend; each year's maximum occurs during

theNorthern Hemisphere's late spring, and declines during its growing season as plants remove some atmospheric CO 2.

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 discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in

1896.[23] Existence of the greenhouse effect as such is not disputed, even by those who do not agree that the recent temperature increase is

attributable to human activity. The question is instead how the strength of the greenhouse effect changes when human activity increases the

concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F).[24][C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which

causes about 36–70 percent of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9–26 percent; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9 percent;

and ozone (O 3), which causes 3–7 percent.[25][26][27]Clouds also affect the radiation balance, but they are composed of liquid water or ice and so

are considered separately from water vapor and other 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 and nitrous oxide. The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and 148%

respectively since 1750.[28] These levels are much higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years, the period for which reliable data has been

extracted from ice cores.[29][30][31] Less direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values higher than this were last seen about 20 million years
ago.[32] Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. Most of the rest is

due to land-use change, particularly deforestation. [33]

CO2 concentrations are continuing to rise due to burning of fossil fuels and land-use change. The future rate of rise will depend on uncertain

economic, sociological,technological, and natural developments. Accordingly, the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios gives a wide range of

future CO2 scenarios, ranging from 541 to 970 ppm by the year 2100 (an increase by 90-250% since 1750).[34] Fossil fuel reserves are sufficient to

reach these levels and continue emissions past 2100 if coal, tar sands ormethane clathrates are extensively exploited.[35]

The destruction of stratospheric ozone by chlorofluorocarbons is sometimes mentioned in relation to global warming. Although there are a few areas

of linkage, the relationship between the two is not strong. Reduction of stratospheric ozone has a cooling influence, but substantial ozone depletion

did not occur until the late 1970s.[36] Ozone in the troposphere (the lowest part of the Earth's atmosphere) does contribute to surface warming.[37]

Aerosols and soot

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


Global dimming, a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface, has partially counteracted global warming from

1960 to the present.[38] The main cause of this dimming is aerosols produced by volcanoes and pollutants. These aerosols exert a cooling effect by

increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight. James E. Hansen and colleagues have proposed that the effects of the products of fossil fuel

combustion—CO 2 and aerosols—have largely offset one another in recent decades, so that net warming has been driven mainly by non-

CO2 greenhouse gases.[39]

In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, aerosols have indirect effects on the radiation budget.[40] Sulfate aerosols

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 with fewer and larger droplets. [41] This effect also causes droplets to be of more uniform size, which reduces growth of

raindrops and makes the cloud more reflective to incoming sunlight.[42]

Soot may cool or warm, depending on whether it is airborne or deposited. Atmospheric soot aerosols 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

greenhouse gases may be masked by atmospheric brown clouds.[43] When deposited, especially on glaciers or on ice in arctic regions, the lower

surface albedo can also directly heat the surface.[44] The influences of aerosols, 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 hemisphere. [45]
Solar variation
Main article: Solar variation

Solar variation over the last thirty years.

Variations in solar output have been the cause of past climate changes,[46] but solar forcing is generally thought to be too small to account for a

significant part of global warming in recent decades. [47][48]

Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways. While both increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are

expected to warm thetroposphere, an increase in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase in greenhouse gases should cool the

stratosphere.[3] Observations show that temperatures in the stratosphere have been cooling since 1979, when satellite measurements became

available. Radiosonde (weather balloon) data from the pre-satellite era show cooling since 1958, though there is greater uncertainty in the early

radiosonde record.[49]

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 climate.[50] Other research has found no relation between warming in recent decades and cosmic

rays.[51][52] A recent study concluded that the influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover is about a factor of 100 lower than needed to explain the

observed changes in clouds or to be a significant contributor to present-day climate change.[53]


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 amplifies the change in the first quantity whilenegative 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 global warming is the tendency of

warming to increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn leads to further warming. The main negative feedback is that

according to the Stefan–Boltzmann law, the amount of heat radiated from the Earth into space increases with the temperature of Earth's surface and

atmosphere. Imperfect understanding of feedbacks is a major cause of uncertainty and concern about global warming.

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 21 st 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).

The main tools for projecting future climate changes are mathematical models based on physical principles including fluid

dynamics, thermodynamics and radiative transfer. Although they 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. All modern

climate models are in fact combinations of models for different parts of the Earth. These include an atmospheric model for air movement, temperature,

clouds, and other atmospheric properties; an ocean model that predicts temperature, salt content, and circulation of ocean waters; models for ice

cover on land and sea; and a model of heat and moisture transfer from soil and vegetation to the atmosphere. Some models also include treatments

of chemical and biological processes.[54] Warming due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases is not an assumption of the models; rather, it is an

end result from the interaction of greenhouse gases with radiative transfer and other physical processes in the models. [55] Although much of the

variation in model outcomes depends on the greenhouse gas emissions used as inputs, the temperature effect of a specific greenhouse gas

concentration (climate sensitivity) varies depending on the model used. The representation of clouds is one of the main sources of uncertainty in

present-generation models.[56]

Global climate model projections of future climate most often have used estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from the IPCC Special Report on

Emissions Scenarios(SRES). In addition to human-caused emissions, some models also include a simulation of the carbon cycle; this generally

shows a positive feedback, though this response is uncertain. Some observational studies also show a positive feedback.[57][58][59] Including

uncertainties in future greenhouse gas concentrations and climate sensitivity, the IPCC anticipates a warming of 1.1 °C to 6.4 °C (2.0 °F to 11.5 °F) by

the end of the 21st century, relative to 1980–1999. [2]
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 man-made

greenhouse gas emissions.[3]

The physical realism of models is tested by examining their ability to simulate current or past climates. [60] Current climate models produce a good

match to observations of global temperature changes over the last century, but do not simulate all aspects of climate. [33] Not all effects of global

warming are accurately predicted by the climate models used by the IPCC. For example, observed Arctic shrinkage has been faster than that


Attributed and expected effects

Main articles: Effects of global warming and Regional effects of global warming

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 W GMS and the NSIDC.

It is usually impossible to connect specific weather events to global warming. Instead, global warming is expected to cause changes in the overall

distribution and intensity of events, such as changes to the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation. Broader effects are expected to

include glacial retreat, Arctic shrinkage including long-term shrinkage of the Greenland ice sheet[62], and worldwide sea level rise. Some effects on

both the natural environment and human life are, at least in part, already being attributed to global warming. A 2001 report by the IPCC suggests

that glacier retreat, ice shelf disruption such as that of the Larsen Ice Shelf, sea level rise, changes in rainfall patterns, and increased intensity and

frequency of extreme weather events are attributable in part to global warming.[63] Other expected effects include water scarcity in some regions and

increased precipitation in others, and changes in mountain snowpack.[64]

Social and economic effects of global warming may be exacerbated by growing population densities in affected areas. It is expected that the health

benefits of climate change (e.g., fewer deaths from cold exposure) will be outweighed by negative health effects (e.g., increased levels

of malnutrition), especially in developing countries.[65] A summary of probable effects and recent understanding can be found in the IPCC Fourth

Assessment Report.[66] According to this report, there is observational evidence for an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic

Ocean since about 1970, in correlation with the increase in sea surface temperature (see Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), but that the detection of

long-term trends is complicated by the quality of records prior to routine satellite observations. The summary also states that there is no clear trend in

the annual worldwide number of tropical cyclones.[2]
Additional expected effects include sea level rise of 0.18 to 0.59 meters (0.59 to 1.9 ft) in 2090–2100 relative to 1980–1999,[2] new trade

routes resulting from arctic shrinkage,[67] possible thermohaline circulation slowing, increasingly intense, in some locations, (but less frequent)

hurricanes [68]and extreme weather events,[69] reductions in the ozone layer, changes in agriculture yields, and ocean oxygen depletion.[70] Increased

atmospheric CO 2 increases the amount of CO 2 dissolved in the oceans.[71] CO2 dissolved in the ocean reacts with water to form carbonic acid,

resulting in ocean acidification. Ocean surface pH is estimated to have decreased from 8.25 near the beginning of the industrial era to 8.14 by

2004,[72] and is projected to decrease by a further 0.14 to 0.5 units by 2100 as the ocean absorbs more CO 2.[2][73] Heat and carbon dioxide trapped in

the oceans may still take hundreds of years to be re-emitted, even after greenhouse gas emissions are eventually

reduced.[7] Since organisms andecosystems are adapted to a narrow range of pH, this raises extinction concerns and disruptions in food webs.[74] One

study predicts 18% to 35% of a sample of 1,103 animal and plant species would be extinct by 2050, based on future climate projections.[75] However,

few mechanistic studies have documented extinctions due to recent climate change,[76] and one study suggests that projected rates of extinction are


Main articles: Economics of global warming and Low-carbon economy

Projected temperature increase for a range of stabilization scenarios (the colored bands). The black line in middle of the shaded area indicates 'best estimates'; the red and the

blue lines the likely limits. From IPCC AR4.

In a literature assessment, Smith and others concluded, with medium confidence,[D] that:

                climate change would increase income inequalities between and within countries

                a small increase in global mean temperature (up to 2 °C by 2100, measured against 1990 levels) would result in net negative market

       sector impacts in many developing countries and net positive market sector impacts in many developed countries

                the aggregate market sector impact (i.e., total impacts across all regions) of a small increase in global mean temperature would amount to

       plus or minus a few percent of world GDP.

With high confidence, Smith and others concluded that a medium (2-3 °C) to high (above 3 °C) level of warming would result in more intense negative

impacts, and that net positive impacts would begin to decline and eventually become negative.[78] They found that most studies showed aggregate net

damages at a global scale above a medium temperature increase, with further damages at higher temperatures.

Depending on underlying assumptions, studies of the economic impacts of a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2) from pre-industrial levels

conclude that this would have a slightly negative to moderately positive aggregate effect on the agricultural sector.[78] This aggregate effect hides

substantial regional differences, with benefits mostly predicted in the developed world and strongly negative impacts for populations poorly connected

to regional and global trading systems.
A number of other sectors will be affected by climate change, including the livestock, forestry, and fisheries industries. Other sectors sensitive to

climate change include the energy, construction, insurance, tourismand recreation industries. The aggregate impact of climate change on most of

these sectors is highly uncertain.[79]

Stern in 2007 assessed climate change impacts using the basic economics of risk premiums.[80] He found that unmitigated climate change could result

in a reduction in welfare equivalent to a persistent average fall in global per-capita consumption of at least 5%. The study by Stern has received both

criticism and support from other economists (see Stern Review). The IPCC in 2007 concluded that "Aggregate estimates of costs mask significant

differences in impacts across sectors, regions and populations and very likely underestimate damage costs because they cannot include many non-

quantifiable impacts."[9]

Responses to global warming

The broad agreement among climate scientists that global temperatures will continue to increase has led some nations, states, corporations and

individuals to implement responses. These responses to global warming can be divided into mitigation of the causes and effects of global

warming, adaptation to the changing global environment, and geoengineering to reverse global warming.

Main article: Mitigation of global warming

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an approach to mitigation. Emissions may besequestered from fossil fuel power plants, or removed during processing in hydrogen

production. When used on plants, it is known as bio-energy with carbon capture and storage.

The IPCC's Working Group III is responsible for crafting reports on mitigation of global warming and the costs and benefits of different approaches.

The 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report concludes that no one technology or sector can be completely responsible for mitigating future warming.

They find there are key practices and technologies in various sectors, such as energy supply, transportation, industry, and agriculture that should be

implemented to reduced global emissions. They estimate that stabilization of carbon dioxide equivalent between 445 and 710 ppm by 2030 will result

in between a 0.6 percent increase and three percent decrease in global gross domestic product.[81]

Mitigation of global warming is accomplished through reductions in the rate of anthropogenic greenhouse gas release. The world's primary

international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Kyoto Protocol, now covers more than 160 countries and over 55 percent of

global greenhouse gas emissions.[82] As of February 2010, only the United States, historically the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases,

has refused to ratify the treaty. The treaty expires in 2012. International talks began in May 2007 on a future treaty to succeed the current
one.[83] The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference met in Copenhagen in December 2009 to agree on a framework for climate change

mitigation.[84] No binding agreement was made.

There has also been business action on climate change, including efforts to improve energy efficiency and limited moves towards use of alternative

fuels. In January 2005 the European Union introduced its European Union Emission Trading Scheme, through which companies in conjunction with

government agree to cap their emissions or to purchase credits from those below their allowances. Australia announced its Carbon Pollution

Reduction Scheme in 2008. United States President Barack Obama has announced plans to introduce an economy-wide cap and trade scheme. [85]

Main article: Adaptation to global warming

A wide variety of measures have been suggested for adaptation to global warming, from the installation of air-conditioning equipment, to

major infrastructure projects, such as abandoning settlements threatened bysea level rise.

Measures including water conservation,[86] water rationing, adaptive agricultural practices[87] including diversification, construction of flood

defenses,[88] changes to medical care,[89] and interventions to protectthreatened species[90] have all been suggested. A wide-ranging study of the

possible opportunities for adaptation of infrastructure has been published by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.[91]

Main article: Geoengineering

Geoengineering is the concept of planetary engineering applied to Earth: i.e. the deliberate modification of Earth's natural environment on a large

scale to suit human needs.[92] An example is greenhouse gas remediation, which removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, usually

through carbon sequestration techniques such as carbon dioxide air capture.[93] Solar radiation management reduces absorbed solar radiation, such

as by the addition of stratospheric sulfur aerosols[94] or cool roof techniques.[95] No geoengineering projects of significant scale have been

implemented, and detailed study has largely been the work of small numbers of scientists; but various significant institutions such as the Royal

Society and IMechE have recently suggested that further study is warranted. Their various externalities and other costs are seen as major issues, and

the idea or concern that one country could act unilaterally has also been raised.[96][97][98]

Debate and skepticism

Main articles: Global warming controversy and Politics of global warming
See also: Scientific opinion on climate change, Climate change consensus, and Climate change denial

Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2000, including land-use change.
Per country greenhouse gas emissions in 2000, including land-use change.

Increased publicity of the scientific findings surrounding global warming has resulted in political and economic debate. [99] Poor regions, particularly

Africa, appear at greatest risk from the projected effects of global warming, although their emissions have been small compared to those of the

developed world.[100] The exemption of developing countries from Kyoto Protocol restrictions has been used to justify non-ratification by the U.S. and a

previous Australian Government.[101] (Australia has since ratified the Kyoto protocol.)[102] Another point of contention is the degree to which emerging

economies such as India and China should be expected to constrain their emissions.[103]The U.S. contends that if it must bear the cost of reducing

emissions, then China should do the same[104][105] since China's gross national CO2 emissions now exceed those of the U.S.[106][107][108] China has

contended that it is less obligated to reduce emissions since its per capita responsibility and per capita emissions are less that of the U.S.[109] India,

also exempt, has made similar contentions.[110]

In 2007–2008 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 in developed, 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 Former Soviet Union lead in the

opposite belief.[111] In the Western world, opinions over the concept and the appropriate responses are divided. Nick Pidgeon of Cardiff University finds

that "results show the different stages of engagement about global warming on each side of the Atlantic"; where Europe debates the appropriate

responses while the United States debates whether climate change is happening.[112]

Debates weigh the benefits of limiting industrial emissions of greenhouse gases against the costs that such changes would entail.[81] Using economic

incentives, alternative and renewable energy have been promoted to reduce emissions while building infrastructure. [113][114] Organizations such as the

libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, conservative commentators, and companies such as ExxonMobil have challenged IPCC climate change

scenarios, funded scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus, and provided their own projections of the economic cost of stricter

controls.[115][116][117][118] Environmental organizations and public figures have emphasized changes in the current climate and the risks they entail, while

promoting adaptation to changes in infrastructural needs and emissions reductions.[119] Some fossil fuel companies have scaled back their efforts in

recent years,[120] or called for policies to reduce global warming.[121] Many studies link population growth with emissions and the effect of climate


Some global warming skeptics in the science or political communities dispute all or some of the global warming scientific consensus, questioning

whether global warming is actually occurring, whether human activity has contributed significantly to the warming, and the magnitude of the threat

posed by global warming.

See also

            Global warming portal

               Glossary of climate change

               Index of climate change articles

               History of climate change science
                         ^ Increase is for years 1905 to 2005. Global surface temperature is defined in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report as the average of near-surface

    air temperature over land and sea surface temperature. These error bounds are constructed with a 90% confidence interval.

                         ^ 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.

                         ^ 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 average surface te mperature of 33 °C (91 °F). The average worldwide surface temperature is about 14 °C (57 °F).

                         ^ These confidence levels are Bayesian probabilities, and represent the degree of belief that Smith and his co-authors had in the validity of their

    conclusions. As a percentage chance of the conclusion being correct: high confidence ranges 67-95%, medium confidence ranges 33-67%.[125]


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

     2.    ^ a b c d e f g IPCC (2007-05-04). "Summary for Policymakers" (PDF). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the

            Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Retrieved 2009-07-03.

     3.    ^ a b c d Hegerl, Gabriele C.; et al. (2007). "Understanding and Attributing Climate Change" (PDF). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution

            of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC. "Recent estimates indicate a relatively small

            combined effect of natural forcings on the global mean temperature evolution of the second half of the 20th century, with a small net cooling from the combined

            effects of solar and volcanic forcings."

     4.    ^ 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. doi:10.1073/pnas.0605064103. PMID 17360418. PMC 1810336. "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".

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

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Further reading

         Association of British Insurers (2005–06) (PDF). Financial Risks of Climate Change.
          Barnett, TP; Adam, JC; Lettenmaier, DP; Adam, J. C.; Lettenmaier, D. P. (2005-11-17). "Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-

    dominated regions" (abstract). Nature 438 (7066): 303–309.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.(2006-12-07). "Climate-driven trends

    in contemporary ocean productivity" (PDF). Nature 444 (7120): 752–755.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 (1–2): 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 (2005-08-04). "Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years." (PDF). Nature 436(7051): 686–

    688. doi:10.1038/nature03906. PMID 16056221.

          Hansen, James; et al. (2005-06-03). "Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications" (PDF). Science 308(5727): 1431–

    1435. doi:10.1126/science.1110252. PMID 15860591.

          Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Hmelo, Laura R.; Sylva, Sean P. (2003-02-21). "Molecular Fossil Record of Elevated Methane Levels in Late Pleistocene Coastal

    Waters". Science 299 (5610): 1214–1217. doi:10.1126/science.1079601. PMID 12595688.

          Hirsch, Tim (2006-01-11). "Plants revealed as methane source". BBC.

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            Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — collection of IPCC reports

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           What Is Global Warming? — by National Geographic

           Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions — from NOAA

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           Best Effort Global Warming Trajectories – Wolfram Demonstrations Project — by Harvey Lam

           Koshland Science Museum – Global Warming Facts and Our Future — graphical introduction from National Academy of Sciences

           The Discovery of Global Warming – A History — by Spencer R. Weart from The American Institute of Physics

           Climate Change: Coral Reefs on the Edge — A video presentation by Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, University of Auckland

           Understanding and Responding to Climate Change — National Academies Reports 2008
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