what is global warming

Global Warming Information Center

Want to learn more about global warming?

Here’s a comprehensive list of resources and information on global warming

 


The Definition of Global Warming:

There are various definitions available for global warming, here are a few that we think are particularly good.

From Wikipedia:

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and the oceans since the mid-twentieth century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the twentieth century, and that natural phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes probably had a small warming effect from pre-industrial times to 1950 and a small cooling effect afterward. These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.

 


From the Encylopdia of Earth:

The phrase global warming refers to the documented historical warming of the Earth’s surface based upon worldwide temperature records that have been maintained by humans since the 1880s.

The term global warming is often used synonymously with the term climate change, but the two terms have distinct meanings. Global warming is the combined result of anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions of greenhouse gases and changes in solar irradiance, while climate change refers to any change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the average and/or the variability of its properties (e.g., temperature, precipitation), and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer.

 


 

Top Online Resources on Global Warming

The following is a list of websites that offer a lot of information on global warming.

Please also feel free to tell us about other resources we should include here.

  • IPCC: The Scientific Basis: link to the latest report issued by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, supported by the world’s leading climatologists.
  • RealClimate: A climate change blog, run by climate scientists.
  • G8 Climate Statement (PDF): here’s a joint declaration on the realities of global warming signed by the heads of the chief scientific advisors for all the G8 countries (China, Canada, Brazil, Russia, United States, Japan, Italy, India, Germany).

 


 

Global Warming in Pictures

These are images we have found online that meet the guidlines for creative commons licensing. To download, just right click on the image, hit “save image as”. Please note that attribution is required for these images, so be sure to include the information that’s included below any of the images you download.

You can click to enlarge any of the images.

Combined surface temperatures for the world: courtesy of the US National Climatic Data Center

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Average historic snow cover extent for the Northern Hemisphere: courtesy of the US National Climatic Data Center

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Average historic sea level rise: courtesy of the US National Climatic Data Center

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