Global Warming

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Global warming
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For scientific and political disputes, see Global warming controversy, Scientific opinion on climate change and Public opinion on climate change. For past climate change see Paleoclimatology and Geologic temperature record. For the Sonny Rollins album see Global Warming (album).

Line plot of global mean land-ocean temperature change from 1880-2010, relative to the 1951-1980 mean. The black line is the annual mean and the red line is the 5-year running mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. Source: NASA GISS

Comparison of surface based (blue) and satellite based (red: UAH; green: RSS) records of global mean temperature change from 1979-2009. Linear trends plotted since 1982.

The map shows the 10-year average (2000-2009) global mean temperature anomaly relative to the 1951-1980 mean. The largest temperature increases are in the Arctic and the Antarctic Peninsula. Source: NASA Earth Observatory [1] Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface temperature increased by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 20th oceans and because the ocean loses more heat by evaporation.[30] The Northern Hemisphere warms faster than the Southern Hemisphere because it has more land and because it has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea-ice cover subject to ice-albedo feedback. Although more greenhouse gases are emitted in the Northern than Southern Hemisphere this does not contribute to the difference in warming because the major greenhouse gases persist long enough to mix between century.[2][A] Most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which result from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation.[3][4] Global dimming, a reduction of sunlight reaching the surface as a result of increasing atmospheric concentrations of human-made particulates, has partially countered the effects of warming induced by greenhouse gases. Climate model projections summarized in the 2007 IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century.[2] The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts.[5] Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent and intense precipitation events, extreme weather events, species extinctions due to shifting isotherms, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional changes is uncertain.[6] As a result of contemporary increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the oceans have become more acidic, a result that is predicted to continue.[7][8] The scientific consensus is that anthropogenic global warming is occurring. This finding is recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries and is not rejected by any scientific body of national or international standing.[9][10][11][B] According to a recent Gallup poll, people in most countries are more likely to attribute global warming to human activities than to natural causes. The major exception is the U.S., where nearly half of the population (the largest...
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