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Causes

Studies of past climates provide insight into the causes of our present climate. We require such insight to develop computer models that predict Earth's future.

The greenhouse effect: imagine the sun illuminating Earth in a bottle.

Bloom (2010) Global Climate Change: Convergence of Disciplines. Sinauer Associates.

Past History

Present Factors

 Future World

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Human-caused climate change a factor in Mediterranean droughts Last Updated on 2011-10-28 00:00:00 Human-caused climate change a major factor in more frequent Mediterranean droughts Winter precipitation trends in the Mediterranean region for the period 1902 - 2010. High Resolution (Credit: NOAA) Wintertime droughts are increasingly common in the Mediterranean region, and human-caused climate change is partly responsible, according to a new analysis by NOAA scientists and colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). In the last 20 years, 10 of the driest 12 winters have taken place in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. “The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone,” said Martin Hoerling, Ph.D. of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., lead author of a paper published online in the Journal of Climate ... More »
Targeting other climate change gases Last Updated on 2011-08-04 00:00:00 NOAA study: Slowing climate change by targeting gases other than carbon dioxide The direct warming influence of all long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today attributable to human activities. CO2’s warming influence of 1.7 watts/m2 is equivalent to the heat from nearly 9 trillion 100-watt incandescent light bulbs placed across Earth’s surface. The combined influence of the non-CO2 greenhouse gases is equivalent to the heat from about 5 trillion bulbs. The category “other”includes a few very long-lived chemicals that can exert a climate influence for millennia. Download image here. (Credit: NOAA) Carbon dioxide remains the undisputed king of recent climate change, but other greenhouse gases measurably contribute to the problem. A new study, conducted by NOAA scientists and published online today in Nature, shows that cutting emissions... More »
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