Climate Change

Climate Change

Global Climate Change, a topic that includes Global Warming, refers to the relatively abrupt shift in weather patterns during the last hundred years.

Click here for a site map of the Climate Change Collection in the Encyclopedia of Earth.

Climate change information in the Encyclopedia of Earth derives from The Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, E-Learning (CAMEL) project from the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) of the National Council for Science and the Environment and is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education (0950396).

  • Climate Change Escape Routes Featured News Article Climate Change Escape Routes Climate Change Escape Routes

    One if by Land, Two if by Sea? Climate Change "Escape Routes" Similar movement rates needed for animals and plants on land and in the oceans One if by land, two if by... More »

  • Halocarbon Featured Article Halocarbon Halocarbon

    A halocarbon is an organic chemical molecule composed of at least one carbon atom bound covalently with one or more halogen atoms; the most common halogens in these molecules... More »

  • Climate Change and Unprepared Cities Featured News Article Climate Change and Unprepared Cities Climate Change and Unprepared Cities

    Climate Change Poses Major Risks for Unprepared Cities Fast-growing urban areas most likely to feel the heat Cities worldwide are failing to take necessary steps to protect... More »

  • Pliocene Featured Article Pliocene Pliocene

    Editor's note: The Pliocene is the period of the geologic timescale that spans the era from approximately 5.331 to 2.588 million years ago. It preceeds the Pleistocene... More »

  • Ocean acidification troubles Featured Article Ocean acidification troubles Ocean acidification troubles

    The seas in which corals and other calcifying species dwell are turning acidic, their pH slowly dropping as Earth's oceans acidify in response to increased carbon dioxide... More »

Recently Updated
Climate Change Perceptions Last Updated on 2014-11-20 11:03:33 The Perception Factor: Climate Change Gets Personal This article, written by Catherine M. Cooney, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. Summer 2010 saw a new suite of climate change studies from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with the stark conclusion that “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.”1 The NAS series received a boost from separate research... More »
Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends: Air Quality and Climate Last Updated on 2014-11-17 12:15:25 This is Chapter 13 of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment report Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Volume 1: Current State and Trends Coordinating Lead Authors: Jo House, Victor Brovkin Lead Authors: Richard Betts, Bob Constanza, Maria Assunçao Silva Dias, Beth Holland, Corinne Le Quéré, Nophea Kim Phat, Ulf Riebesell, Mary Scholes Contributing Authors: Almut Arneth, Damian Barratt, Ken Cassman, Torben Christensen, Sarah Cornell, Jon Foley, Laurens Ganzeveld, Thomas Hickler, Sander Houweling, Marko Scholze, Fortunat Joos, Karen Kohfeld, Manfredi Manizza, Denis Ojima, I. Colin Prentice, Crystal Schaaf, Ben Smith, Ina Tegen, Kirsten Thonicke, Nicola Warwick Review Editors: Pavel Kabat, Shuzo Nishioka Main Messages Ecosystems, both natural and managed, exert a strong influence on climate and air quality. Ecosystems are both sources and sinks of greenhouse gases,... More »
Climate adaptation Last Updated on 2014-11-17 12:07:20 The global climate disruptions underway require two types of responses. Both the Stern Review (2007) and the IPCC Climate Change (2007) point out that strong action on climate change, includes both mitigation and adaptation. The IPCC uses the following definitions: Mitigation: An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2001); Adaptation: Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (IPCC, 2001). From these definitions it follows that mitigation reduces all impacts (positive and negative) of climate change and thus reduces the adaptation challenge, whereas adaptation is selective; it can take advantage of positive impacts and reduce negative ones. The former, climate change mitigation, is the more widely... More »
Climate Literacy- The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences Last Updated on 2014-11-15 15:52:27 View online here or download the PDF: High Resolution (14.67MB) or Low Resolution (2.92MB) If you would like more detailed coverage of this topic please see The Climate Literacy Handbook Climate Science Literacy is an understanding of your influence of climate and climate's influence on you and society. understands the essential principles of Earth's climate system, knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate, communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way, and is able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate. During the 20th century, Earth's globally averaged surface temperature rose by approximately 1.08°F (0.6°C). Additional warming of more than 0.25°F (0.14°C) has been measured since 2000. Though the total increase may seem small, it... More »
Agriculture and Climate Change Last Updated on 2014-11-15 15:30:18 The agriculture sector is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which many scientists agree are contributing to observed climate change. Agriculture is also a “sink” for sequestering carbon, which might offset GHG emissions by capturing and storing carbon in agricultural soils. The two key types of GHG emissions associated with agricultural activities are methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Agricultural sources of CH4 emissions mostly occur as part of the natural digestive process of animals and manure management at livestock operations; sources of N2O emissions are associated with soil management and fertilizer use on croplands. This article describes these emissions on a carbon-equivalent basis to illustrate agriculture’s contribution to total national GHG emissions and to contrast emissions against estimates of sequestered carbon. Emissions from... More »