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
Fossil fuel Last Updated on 2014-10-28 12:02:28 Fossil fuel is any naturally occurring carbon compound found in the Earth's crust that has been produced by anaerobic conditions and high pressures acting on dead organisms. These fossil fuel deposits are typically found at depths beneath the Earth surface or ocean floor of tens of meters to kilometers, and often occur in large agglomerations of gas, liquid or solid matter. Presently, combustion of fossil fuels account for over 86 percent of the world's artificial energy delivered to the human society. These fuels are considered non-renweable in that their natural creation time requires millions of years. The extraction, processing and combustion of fossil fuels causes significant adverse environmental consequences to biodiversity, air quality and water quality, as well as substantial impacts to human health and mortality. These processes also generate large... More »
Meteorology Last Updated on 2014-10-26 16:32:04   Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere and physical processes of interaction with the Earth's crust, oceans and outer space. Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events which are investigated by the science of meteorology. The chief parameters comprised by the science of meteorology are: temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, sunlight and the gradients and interactions of each variable, as well as their temporal variability. The majority of Earth's observed weather is located in the troposphere. Different spatial scales are studied to determine how systems on local, regional, and global levels impact meteorological phenomena. Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics and atmospheric chemistry are sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences. Meteorology and hydrology compose the interdisciplinary field of hydrometeorology. Interactions... More »
Climate Last Updated on 2014-10-01 10:48:54 Climate is the typical pattern of conditions of the earth’s atmosphere over a given region, as defined by factors such as temperature, air pressure. humidity, precipitation, sunlight, cloudiness, and winds. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as "the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time," where an appropriate period is typically at least thirty years. Climate can be assessed at different, overlapping geographic regions. For example, Earth is thought to have a climate that is distinct from that of other planets, while different regions of Earth are also thought to have distinct climate types. Climate is often described as the "average" conditions; however, since daily and seasonal variability (including extremes) are critical determinants, using the term... More »
Importance and relationship of boreal forests to climate Last Updated on 2014-09-30 10:47:57 This is Section 14.2 of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Lead Author: Glenn P. Juday; Contributing Authors: Valerie Barber, Paul Duffy, Hans Linderholm, Scott Rupp, Steve Sparrow, Eugene Vaganov, John Yarie; Consulting Authors: Edward Berg, Rosanne D’Arrigo, Olafur Eggertsson,V.V. Furyaev, Edward H. Hogg, Satu Huttunen, Gordon Jacoby, V.Ya. Kaplunov, Seppo Kellomaki, A.V. Kirdyanov, Carol E. Lewis, Sune Linder, M.M. Naurzbaev, F.I. Pleshikov, Ulf T. Runesson,Yu.V. Savva, O.V. Sidorova,V.D. Stakanov, N.M.Tchebakova, E.N.Valendik, E.F.Vedrova, Martin Wilmking.   The boreal region covers about 17% of the terrestrial area of the earth[5], with a broad zone of forest in a continuous distribution across the Eurasian and North American landmasses. The boreal forest is defined as a belt of forest south of the tundra characterized by a small number of coniferous species... More »
Climate change effects on birds Last Updated on 2014-09-06 19:35:56 Many birds species all over the world are highly sensitive to the effects of climate change. Scientists have found declines of up to 90 percent in some bird populations, as well as total and unprecedented reproductive failure in others, althought the role of any change in climate is typically not determined. Population declines generally have several associative causal factors including habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and pollution. Specific groups that are at high risk from climate change include migratory birds, mountain birds, island birds,   wetland   birds, Arctic birds, Antarctic birds and seabirds. Bird species that can move easily to new habitat are expected to continue to do well; however, bird species that thrive only in a narrow environmental range can be expected to decline, and to be outcompeted by invasive species. With a 0.8°C average... More »