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
Nuclear power Last Updated on 2015-08-28 08:36:17 Nuclear power is the generation of electricity from controlled reactions within the nucleii of atoms that release energy used to boil water, the steam from which drives a turbine to generate electricity . All commercial nuclear plants presently rely upon nuclear fission reactions. As of 2010, approximately 14 percent of the world's electricity was derived from nuclear power, chiefly centered in the United States (with 31% of the world's total nuclear power capacity), France (16%), and Japan (10%). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that, as of November 21, 2012, there are 437 nuclear power reactors in operation in 30 countries, plus Taiwan. Another 64 reactors under construction in 14 countries which if operational today would increase the worldwide electrical generation capacity of nuclear power by 17%. One hundred and forty reactors have been permanently... More »
Kalahari xeric savanna Last Updated on 2015-07-10 18:01:28 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Kalahari xeric savanna is an ecoregion in southern Africa characterized by a harsh climate, where temperatures may vary by 44°C from night to day, and rainfall is infrequent. Rain appears only during the austral summer on the reddish-brown Kalahari sands , pelting the savanna with violent, localized storms. Although this area is semi-arid, there is an impressive diversity of migratory birds and large mammals, both herbivorous and carnivorous; in fact, 550 different vertebrates have been observed in the Kalahari xeric savanna.  This ecoregion is classified within the Deserts and Xeric Shrublands biome. A considerable fraction (approximately 18 percent) of the Kalahari xeric savanna is protected. Where lands are not protected, overgrazing has often severely degraded habitat. Fences are a significant... More »
Arctic climate change case studies using indigenous knowledge Last Updated on 2015-07-09 00:12:54 This is Section 3.4 of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Lead Authors: Henry Huntington, Shari Fox; Contributing Authors: Fikret Berkes, Igor Krupnik; Case Study Authors are identified on specific case studies; Consulting Authors: Anne Henshaw,Terry Fenge, Scot Nickels, Simon Wilson Indigenous perspectives on the changing Arctic vary widely over time and space, as may be expected given the differences between the histories, cultures, ways of life, social and economic situations, geographical locations, and other characteristics of the many peoples of the region. These perspectives cannot be illustrated by generalizations nor, in the space allotted and with the materials currently available, comprehensively for the entire Arctic. The case studies used in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment were chosen as illustrations of indigenous perspectives on climate change, and were drawn... More »
East African montane moorlands Last Updated on 2015-07-02 10:29:19 The East African montane moorlands is a relatively small alpine ecoregion in eastern Africa. The habitat is virtually treeless since it occupies a zone above the treeline. This ecoregion, classified as an element of the montane grasslands and scrublands biome, has a land area measuring only about 1300 square miles. The ecoregion, lying at the upper zones of ancient volcanoes, exhibits low species richness of higher level faunal organisms, but manifests moderate plant and animal endemism, including support of certain extremophiles. There is particularly high endemism among amphibians and small mammals of the ecoregion. Many of the plant species that occur in the ecoregion have adapted interesting morphological features to allow survival in the extreme cold here. The upper elevations of the ecoregion have persistent glacial cover. Although some of the ecoregion (e.g. Mount Kilamanjaro)... More »
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Fate of the Oil Last Updated on 2015-02-02 17:02:07 Summary The April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig led to the largest oil spill in U.S. waters. Federal government officials estimated that the deepwater well ultimately released (over 84 days) over 200 million gallons (or 4.9 million barrels) of crude oil. Although decreasing amounts of oil were observed on the ocean surface following the well’s containment on July 15, 2010, oil spill response officials and researchers have found oil in other places. A pressing question that has been raised by many stakeholders is where did the oil go? On August 4, 2010, the federal government released an estimate of the oil spill budget for the Deepwater Horizon incident. On November 23, 2010, the federal government released a peerreviewed “Technical Document” that further explained how the estimates were derived, and in some cases, modified the... More »