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Causes and Effects of Global Warming

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Credit: NASA images by Robert Simmon
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GISS_temperature_2000-09_lrg.png
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

You hear a lot about climate change. Maybe you hear that it’s controversial. But it’s not among scientists. Expert scientists agree that climate change is happening and it’s caused by human activity. This map shows how much warmer the decade 200 to 2009 was compared with the 1951 to 1980 average.

News You Can Use

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a report every several years.
  • More than 200 expert scientists contributed to the 2200 page, 2013 report.
  • SciShow makes five major points about climate change based on the report:
    1. Warming is unequivocal.
    2. The media interpreted that there has been pause in global warming from 1998 to 2011, but there was no pause.
    3. The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have not been this high for 800,000 years.
    4. Scientists are now 95% to 100% certain that humans are causing global warming.
    5. The future will see more frequent temperature extremes, mostly of heat, less of cold.
  • Physical evidence of climate change has been measured through looking at Arctic temperatures over the years. Notice the increase in temperature in the graph below.
  • Credit: NASA GSFC, Larry Stock and Josefino Comiso
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASAarctic_temp_trends_rt.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Arctic temperature trends over the 20th century (2003) [Figure2]

     

Can You Apply It?

With the link below, learn more about climate change. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is the evidence for point #1, that warming is unequivocal?
  2. What actually happened to global temperatures during the time from 1998 to 2011?
  3. What are the two reasons greenhouse gases are so high now?
  4. If average global temperature rises 4.8oC on average will temperatures rise uniformly by that much over the entire planet?
  5. Why are the actions we take now important for the future?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: NASA images by Robert Simmon; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GISS_temperature_2000-09_lrg.png; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: NASA GSFC, Larry Stock and Josefino Comiso; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASAarctic_temp_trends_rt.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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