Manual Climate Balance: /tA Balanced and Realistic View of Climate Change

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The rest is absorbed in either the ocean or the terrestrial biosphere. It is carbon dioxide sequestered by ancient forests that we are burning today as fossil fuels. There are numerous sources of anthropogenic methane emissions, including fossil fuel use natural gas and production, ruminant animals, waste disposal, and rice agriculture.


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While methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with twenty one times the radiative effect of carbon dioxide per molecule, it has a much shorter atmospheric lifetime. Methane is oxidized in the atmosphere in roughly a decade while carbon dioxide is essentially indestructible and stays in the atmosphere until absorbed by the oceans or terrestrial biosphere. Therefore carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas of primary concern, due to its long atmospheric lifetime and the large quantity that is released into the atmosphere.


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Sulfate aerosols are light colored particles, part of the haze seen in industrialized areas. The best estimate of the cooling effect of sulfate aerosols is that they have offset a bit more than a third of the global-average warming due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases released to date. Sulfate aerosols are expected to caused an indirect effect by acting as condensation nuclei and thus causing clouds to be denser and more reflective. The magnitude of the indirect effect is very uncertain.

Even though these aerosols, along with those caused by biomass burning, tend to cool the atmosphere they can not exactly cancel the warming caused by greenhouse gasses even if the magnitude of the two effects were equal. While greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are fairly evenly distributed in the atmosphere, aerosols are concentrated near their sources. Thus sulfate aerosol cooling effects are concentrated near heavily industrialized regions, particularly the eastern United States and western Europe.

While the climate effect of these compounds might be considered beneficial, when sulfur dioxide and sulfate aerosols are eventually removed from the atmosphere they acidify the soil, which damages natural and agricultural systems. Energy use is the primary source of greenhouse gases.

The main factors that drive energy use are economic growth and population growth. Contrary to most popular conceptions, it is economic growth not population growth that is the primary driver, both historically and in model projections, of greenhouse gas emissions. Population growth is, however, still a significant contributor to increased future greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions of most greenhouse gasses are expected to continue to increase in the future. Greenhouse gas emissions from developing and developed countries are currently comparable in magnitude.

However, most of the growth in greenhouse gas emissions will occur in developing countries, where economic growth rates are much larger than those in industrialized regions. If developing countries follow the energy-intensive development path followed by the presently industrialized countries then atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will increase dramatically.

Climate change - Wikipedia

One of the largest uncertainties in future greenhouse emissions is the effect of technological change. If renewable energy sources become cost-effective, if there are major gains in the efficiency of energy utilization, or if there is a large increase in the use of nuclear energy fission or fusion , then emissions of greenhouse gases may be substantially restrained. Central projections of greenhouse gas emissions result in a doubling of anthropogenic concentrations of carbon dioxide before the end of the next century.

An ongoing debate has been over the rate at which such developments would occur either with or without policy intervention. The importance of the climate change issue stems from the impact of changes in climate on human and natural systems. The two most well known consequences of climate change are an increase in global-mean temperature and a rise in sea level. The primary components of sea-level rise are thermal expansion and the melting of small continental glaciers. However there are other changes in climate could be as important, or even so, than changes in the mean climate state. The extent to which any of these latter changes might occur is still quite uncertain.

The level of damages from climate change is also uncertain. Although changes in climate will be beneficial in some areas, net costs are expected from a change in climate due to increases in the concentrations of greenhouse gases. Coastal regions are heavily populated and are particularly sensitive to climate changes, particularly sea-level rise. Agricultural activities are very sensitive to climate.

However, damage estimates for this sector are uncertain since the extent to which rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide will enhance crop growth is not clear. Other sectors that will be affected by climate change include forestry, air quality, water resources, human health, and energy use. The anticipated rate of anthropogenic climate change is greater than the natural rate at which climate has changed in the past. This has led to considerable concern that the rate of anthropogenic climate change will be greater than the rate at which some natural systems are able to adapt.

If the climate changes to a state that is outside the range of tolerance of an individual species then that species must migrate to a suitable area. Plant species migrate very slowly, and the migration of many animal and plant species is severely limited by human development. Many ecosystems, such as wetlands, are particularly vulnerable to a change in climate or a rise in sea-level. There are two principal responses to climate change, mitigation and adaptation. The rate at which carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere can be decreased.

This is termed mitigation and would reduce the magnitude of future climate change. Carbon-free energy sources include renewable energy, geothermal energy, and nuclear energy. Reductions in energy use can be obtained by direct policy measures, such as a carbon tax, and by improvements in the efficiency of energy using and producing equipment. Modern energy production technologies, such as combined-cycle power plants, are significantly more efficient than older power plants. In the public opinion on climate change , which is influenced by media coverage of climate change there are various groupings including those who belong to climate change denial and global warming controversy factions.

Historical climatology is the study of historical changes in climate and their effect on human history and development. The primary sources include written records such as sagas , chronicles , maps and local history literature as well as pictorial representations such as paintings , drawings and even rock art. This differs from paleoclimatology which encompasses climate change over the entire history of Earth.

Notable climate events known to paleoclimatology are provided in this list of periods and events in climate history. Prior to the 18th century, scientists had not suspected that prehistoric climates were different from the modern period. By the late 18th century, geologists found evidence of a succession of geological ages with changes in climate. There were various competing theories about these changes, and James Hutton , whose ideas of cyclic change over huge periods of time were later dubbed uniformitarianism , was among those who found signs of past glacial activity in places too warm for glaciers in modern times.

By the end of the 19th century, scientific opinion had turned decisively against any belief in a human influence on climate.

Climate Change

And whatever the regional effects, few imagined that humans could affect the climate of the planet as a whole. In , taking advantage of the ability of digital computers to integrate absorption curves numerically, Syukuro Manabe and Richard Wetherald made the first detailed calculation of the greenhouse effect incorporating convection the "Manabe-Wetherald one-dimensional radiative-convective model".

Research during this period has been summarized in the Assessment Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns for an extended period. For current warming of the Earth's climate system due to human activities, see Global warming. For the study of past climate change, see Paleoclimatology. For temperatures on the longest time scales, see Geologic temperature record. Attribution of recent climate change. Milankovitch cycles from , years ago in the past to , years in the future.

Variations in CO 2 , temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last , years. Arctic sea ice decline and Climate change in the Arctic. Sea level and Sea level rise.

Neil deGrasse Tyson scolds cherry picking climate science

Historical impacts of climate change. History of climate change science. Environment portal Global warming portal Energy portal. Advancing the Science of Climate Change. The National Academies Press. Archived from the original on 29 May Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts.

This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities. Climate change means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Retrieved 23 July Concept of Climate Change, in: The International Encyclopedia of Geography. Retrieved 16 May Theory, Implementation, and Applications. Computational Science and Engineering. Retrieved 8 July The five physical components atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere that are responsible for the climate and its variations. Man's Great Geophysical Experiment. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.

A climate disaster triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Environmental conditions, productivity and carbon drawdown". Sinninghe; Dickens, Gerald R. The Journal of Geology. A possible piece of the Cenozoic cooling puzzle".

Are human activities causing climate change? Australian Academy of Science". The New York Times.

Climate change

Retrieved 28 November Archived from the original on Retrieved 2 April Archived from the original on 12 March The Sun and stars as the primary energy input in planetary atmospheres. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. Evolution of Atmospheres and Surface Temperatures. Solar influences on global change. Retrieved 28 February Winning; Ralf Toumi; Jerald W. Currently there is insufficient observational evidence to validate the spectral variations observed by SIM, or to fully characterize other solar cycles, but our findings raise the possibility that the effects of solar variability on temperature throughout the atmosphere may be contrary to current expectations.

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Retrieved 31 July Geological Survey Fact Sheet United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 8 October Tambora volcano Indonesia ". Progress in Physical Geography. Estimates of source strength and its contribution to the global sulphate distribution" PDF. Journal of Geophysical Research: Department of the Interior. Retrieved 21 January Retrieved 20 June Geological Society of America Bulletin. Isthmus that Changed the World". Archived from the original on 2 August Retrieved 1 July Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Retrieved 1 October The University of Chicago Press. Archived from the original PDF on 25 March Retrieved 21 June International Commission on Stratigraphy. Archived from the original on 15 October Retrieved 3 October How do we know? University of Colorado at Boulder. Retrieved 21 July Retrieved 25 April Precipitation measurements and trends in the twentieth century". International Journal of Climatology.

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Preliminary land ecosystem maps of the world since the Last Glacial Maximum". Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Archived from the original on 16 January Geological Survey March Retrieved 1 November Retrieved 27 November Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research. European Forest Genetic Resources Programme. Recalls that early decarbonisation is necessary if this global average temperature target is to be met and that global GHG emissions must reach their peak as soon as possible; recalls that global emissions should be phased out by or shortly thereafter so as to keep the world on a cost-effective emission trajectory compatible with the temperature targets set out in the Paris Agreement; calls on all parties in a position to do so to pursue their national decarbonisation targets and strategies by prioritising the phasing out of emissions from coal, which is the most polluting source of energy, and calls for the EU to work with its international partners to that end, providing examples of good practice; Welcomes the commitment made in Marrakech to completing the work programme with a view to drawing up detailed implementing rules for the Paris Agreement by ; considers COP23 a key milestone in this technical work; Recalls that increasing mitigation action in the pre period is an absolute prerequisite for achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, and calls for the EU to ensure that near-term action remains on the COP23 agenda; Climate finance and other means of implementation Welcomes the commitment of the parties to the Paris Agreement to making all financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development; considers, therefore, that the EU must tackle financial flows to fossil fuels and high-carbon infrastructure as a matter of urgency; Recognises the importance of addressing the loss and damage mechanism inserted in the Paris Agreement and strongly supports discussion of the mechanism at COP23 in Bonn; Stresses the importance of keeping human rights at the core of climate action, and insists that the Commission and the Member States ensure that the negotiations on adaptation measures recognise the need to respect, protect and promote human rights, encompassing inter alia gender equality, the full and equal participation of women, and the active promotion of a fair workforce transition that creates decent work and quality jobs for all; Welcomes the steadily increasing level of EU climate finance, but stresses that further efforts are needed; stresses the importance of ensuring that other developed parties meet their target contributions to the USD billion goal; calls for concrete EU and international commitments to delivering additional sources of finance; Encourages enhanced cooperation between developed and developing countries, including within the NDC Partnership, so that countries have more effective access to the technical knowledge and financial support necessary to put in place policies to fulfil and exceed their NDCs; Calls on the Commission to undertake a full evaluation of the possible consequences of the Paris Agreement for the EU budget and to develop a dedicated, automatic EU financing mechanism providing additional and adequate funding in order to ensure that the EU contributes its fair share of the USD billion international climate finance goal; Calls for concrete commitments to delivering additional sources of climate finance, including by introducing a financial transaction tax, setting aside some EU ETS emission allowances in the period , and allocating revenue from EU and international measures on aviation and shipping emissions to international climate finance and the Green Climate Fund; Role of non-state actors Highlights the efforts of an ever broader range of non-state actors to decarbonise and become more resilient to climate change; emphasises the importance, therefore, of a structured and constructive dialogue between governments, the business community, cities, regions, international organisations, civil society, and academic institutions, and of ensuring their involvement in planning and implementing scalable climate actions in order to promote robust and global action for the creation of low-carbon and resilient societies and demonstrate progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement; Calls for the EU and its Member States to work with all civil society actors institutions, the private sector, NGOs and local communities to develop reduction initiatives in key sectors energy, technology, cities, transport , and adaptation and resilience initiatives in response to adaptation issues, particularly as regards access to water, food security and risk prevention; calls on all governments and civil society actors to support and strengthen this agenda for action; Reminds the UN and the parties to the UNFCCC that individual action is as important as the action of governments and institutions; calls, therefore, for a greater drive to organise campaigns and activities to raise awareness and inform the public about acts, whether small or large, that can contribute to combating climate change in developed and developing countries; Comprehensive effort of all sectors Stresses the importance of ensuring the environmental integrity of any future market approaches, both within and beyond the Paris Agreement, by considering risks such as loopholes enabling double counting, problems with regard to the permanence and additionality of emission reductions, potential negative effects for sustainable development, and perverse incentives for lowering ambition for the level of NDCs; Stresses that the targets for GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy savings have played a key role in driving this progress and sustaining the employment of more than 4,2 million people in various eco-industries, with continuous growth recorded during the economic crisis; Expresses its disappointment, however, at the fact that ICAO did not agree on emission reductions with the introduction of CORSIA, instead focusing mainly on offsets; regrets that the quality of the offsets is not at all guaranteed, that the application of CORSIA is only legally binding from onward, and that major members of ICAO have not yet committed to participating in the voluntary phase, while other major emitters have not committed to carbon neutral growth, which raises a large number of questions as to the real effect on the climate, since the result falls far short of the expectations the EU held when it decided to stop the clock on the EU ETS; calls for the swift finalisation of a robust set of rules for the operationalisation of CORSIA, for its timely implementation at national and regional level, and for its proper enforcement by all parties; calls, furthermore, for the enhancement of all technological innovation related to engine performance and fuel quality; Notes that the priorities of the Fiji Presidency for COP23 include areas where adaptation and resilience actions feature prominently; recalls that adaptation action is an inevitable necessity for all countries if they are to minimise negative effects and make full use of the opportunities for climate-resilient growth and sustainable development; Calls for long-term adaptation objectives to be set accordingly; recalls that developing countries, in particular LDCs and small island developing states, which have contributed least to climate change, are the most vulnerable to its adverse effects and have the least capacity to adapt; Emphasises the need to truly integrate climate change adaptation into national development strategies, including financial planning, while improving coordination channels between different levels of governance and stakeholders; considers that coherence with disaster risk reduction strategies and plans is also important; Considers that climate policies can enjoy sufficient support provided they are accompanied by social measures, including a fair transition fund to link the existing challenges presented by the fight against climate change with efforts to combat unemployment and precarious employment; Calls on the Commission to reassess the EU Adaptation Strategy in order to bring more focus and added value to the adaptation work at the overall EU level by strengthening the linkages with the Paris Agreement and supporting the further development of an effective sharing of good practices, examples and information on adaptation work; stresses the need to develop systems and tools to keep track of the progress and effectiveness of national adaptation plans and actions; Recalls that, pursuant to Article 2 thereof, the Paris Agreement of 4 November has the aim, inter alia, of increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to make finance flows consistent with this aim; Underlines the serious negative, and often irreversible, consequences of inaction, recalling that climate change affects all regions around the world in different but highly damaging ways, resulting in migration flows and loss of lives, as well as economic, ecological and social losses; stresses that a concerted global political and financial push for innovation in clean and renewable energy is crucial to meeting our climate goals and to facilitating growth; Emphasises the importance of the role developing countries also play in attaining the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the need to help those countries implement their climate plans, fully exploiting the synergies with the relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the climate measures implemented, the Addis Ababa Action Plan and Agenda ; Welcomes the continued efforts of and the progress made by European industry in meeting its obligations and taking full advantage of the opportunities arising from the Paris Agreement, which can result in successful and cost-effective climate action; Underlines that combating climate change is a global priority and should be pursued as a truly worldwide effort while ensuring energy security and a sustainable economy; Stresses that a stable and predictable legal framework and clear policy signals at both EU and global level would facilitate and enhance climate-related investment; Underlines that continued commitment, especially on the part of key global emitters, is crucial for climate action and the Paris Agreement; deeply regrets the announcement by the US administration regarding its stance on the Paris Agreement; strongly welcomes, however, the continued support of major US industries that clearly understand the risks of climate change and the opportunities arising from climate action; Considers that, should other major economies fail to make commitments comparable with those of the EU on GHG emissions reductions, it will be necessary to maintain carbon leakage provisions, particularly those aimed at sectors exposed to both a high trade intensity and a high share of carbon costs in production, in order to ensure the global competitiveness of European industry; Underlines the importance of increasing the numbers of skilled workers in industry and promoting knowledge and best practices for stimulating the creation of quality jobs, while supporting a fair transition for the workforce where necessary; Energy policy Calls for the EU to push the international community to adopt without delay concrete measures, including a timetable, for progressively phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies, including for fossil fuels, which distort competition, discourage international cooperation and hinder innovation; Underlines the importance of developing energy storage technologies, smart grids and demand response that will contribute to strengthening the effective deployment of renewable energy in power generation and the household heating and cooling sectors; Research, innovation and digital technologies Stresses that advances in the technologies necessary for decarbonisation will call for clear policy signals, including the reduction of market and regulatory barriers to new technologies and business models, as well as well-targeted public expenditure; Recalls the fundamental role of digital technologies in facilitating the energy transition, creating new sustainable business models and improving energy efficiency and savings; stresses the environmental benefits that the digitalisation of European industry can bring through the efficient use of resources and the reduction of material intensity;