The Climate Change Portal
In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to Earth's climate. The current rise in global average temperature is more rapid than previous changes, and is primarily caused by humans burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuel use, deforestation, and some agricultural and industrial practices increase greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide and methane. Greenhouse gases absorb some of the heat that the Earth radiates after it warms from sunlight. Larger amounts of these gases trap more heat in Earth's lower atmosphere, causing global warming.
Due to climate change, deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Increased warming in the Arctic has contributed to melting permafrost, glacial retreat and sea ice loss. Higher temperatures are also causing more intense storms, droughts, and other weather extremes. Rapid environmental change in mountains, coral reefs, and the Arctic is forcing many species to relocate or become extinct. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include ocean heating, ocean acidification and sea level rise.
Climate change threatens people with increased flooding, extreme heat, increased food and water scarcity, more disease, and economic loss. Human migration and conflict can also be a result. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Societies and ecosystems will experience more severe risks in the future without action to limit warming. Adapting to climate change through efforts like flood control measures or drought-resistant crops reduces climate change risks, although this may not be possible with increasing warming. Poorer countries are responsible for a small share of global emissions, yet they have the least ability to adapt and are most vulnerable to climate change.
Many climate change impacts are already felt at the current 1.2 °C (2.2 °F) level of warming. Additional warming will increase these impacts and can trigger tipping points, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations collectively agreed to keep warming "well under 2 °C". However, with pledges made under the Agreement, global warming would still reach about 2.7 °C (4.9 °F) by the end of the century. Limiting warming to 1.5 °C will require halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Reducing emissions requires generating electricity from low-carbon sources rather than burning fossil fuels. This change includes phasing out coal and natural gas fired power plants, vastly increasing use of wind, solar, and other types of renewable energy, and reducing energy use. Electricity generated from non-carbon-emitting sources will need to replace fossil fuels for powering transportation, heating buildings, and operating industrial facilities. Carbon can also be removed from the atmosphere, for instance by increasing forest cover and by farming with methods that capture carbon in soil. ( Full article...)
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Climate crisis is a term describing global warming and climate change, and their impacts. This term and the term climate emergency have been used to describe the threat of global warming to humanity and the planet, and to urge aggressive climate change mitigation. In the scientific journal BioScience, a January 2020 article, endorsed by over 11,000 scientists worldwide, stated that "the climate crisis has arrived" and that an "immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis."
The term is applied by those who "believe it evokes the gravity of the threats the planet faces from continued greenhouse gas emissions and can help spur the kind of political willpower that has long been missing from climate advocacy". They believe that, much as "global warming" drew out more emotional engagement and support for action than "climate change", calling climate change a crisis could have an even stronger impact.A study has shown that the term invokes a strong emotional response in conveying a sense of urgency; some caution that this response may be counter-productive, and may cause a backlash effect due to perceptions of alarmist exaggeration. ( Full article...)
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The collapse of Larsen B Ice Shelf, showing the diminishing extent of the shelf from 1998 to 2002
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Fatih Birol is a Turkish economist and energy expert, who has served as the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) since 1 September 2015. During his time in charge of the IEA, he has taken a series of steps to modernise the Paris-based international organisation, including strengthening ties with emerging economies like India and China and stepping up work on the clean energy transition and international efforts to reach net zero emissions.Birol was on the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people in 2021, has been named by Forbes magazine among the most influential people on the world's energy scene and recognised by the Financial Times in 2017 as Energy Personality of the Year. Birol is the chairman of the World Economic Forum (Davos) Energy Advisory Board. He is a frequent contributor to print and electronic media and delivers numerous speeches each year at major international summits and conferences. ( Full article...)
The following are images from various climate-related articles on Wikipedia.
Did you know –
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the Arctic temperature trend between August 1981 and July 2009. Due to global warming, which is exacerbated at the Arctic, there's a significant warming over this 28 year period.
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