Portal:Climate change

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The Climate Change Portal

Average surface air temperatures from 2011 to 2020 compared to the 1951-1980 average. Source: NASA.

Contemporary climate change includes both global warming and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are distinctly more rapid and not due to natural causes. Instead, they are caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Burning fossil fuels for energy production creates most of these emissions. Certain agricultural practices, industrial processes, and forest loss are additional sources. Greenhouse gases are transparent to sunlight, allowing it through to heat the Earth's surface. When the Earth emits that heat as infrared radiation the gases absorb it, trapping the heat near the Earth's surface and causing global warming.

Due to climate change, deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Increased warming in the Arctic has contributed to melting permafrost, glacial retreat and sea ice loss. Higher temperatures are also causing more intense storms, droughts, and other weather extremes. Rapid environmental change in mountains, coral reefs, and the Arctic is forcing many species to relocate or become extinct. Climate change threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased flooding, extreme heat, more disease, and economic loss. Human migration and conflict can be a result. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include sea level rise, and warmer, more acidic oceans.

Many of these impacts are already felt at the current 1.2 °C (2.2 °F) level of warming. Additional warming will increase these impacts and may trigger tipping points, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations collectively agreed to keep warming "well under 2 °C". However, with pledges made under the Agreement, global warming would still reach about 2.7 °C (4.9 °F) by the end of the century. Limiting warming to 1.5 °C will require halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.


Making deep cuts in emissions will require switching away from burning fossil fuels and towards using electricity generated from low-carbon sources. This includes phasing out coal-fired power plants, vastly increasing use of wind, solar, and other types of renewable energy, and taking measures to reduce energy use. Electricity will need to replace fossil fuels for powering transportation, heating buildings, and operating industrial facilities. Carbon can also be removed from the atmosphere, for instance by increasing forest cover and by farming with methods that capture carbon in soil. While communities may adapt to climate change through efforts like better coastline protection, they cannot avert the risk of severe, widespread, and permanent impacts. (Full article...)

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Logo.svg

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change. It was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and later endorsed by United Nations General Assembly. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and is composed of 195 member states. The IPCC is governed by its member states, which elect a bureau of scientists to serve for the duration of an assessment cycle (usually six to seven years); the bureau selects experts nominated by governments and observer organisations to prepare IPCC reports. The IPCC is supported by a secretariat and various "Technical Support Units" from specialised working groups and task forces.

The IPCC provides objective and comprehensive scientific information on anthropogenic climate change, including the natural, political, and economic impacts and risks, and possible response options. It does not conduct original research nor monitor climate change, but rather undertakes a periodic, systematic review of all relevant published literature. Thousands of scientists and other experts volunteer to review the data and compile key findings into "Assessment Reports" for policymakers and the general public; this has been described as the biggest peer review process in the scientific community.

The IPCC is an internationally accepted authority on climate change, and its work is widely agreed upon by leading climate scientists as well as governments. Its reports play a key role in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),

with the Fifth Assessment Report heavily informing the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for contributions to the human understanding of climate change. (Full article...)
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Measuring snowpack in a crevasse on the Easton Glacier, North Cascades, USA. The two-dimensional nature of the annual layers is apparent. Crucial to the survival of a glacier is its mass balance, the difference between accumulation and ablation (melting and sublimation). Climate change may cause variations in both temperature and snowfall, causing changes in mass balance.

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Pope Francis in 2021

Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; Spanish: Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 2013. Francis is the first pope to be a member of the Society of Jesus, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since Gregory III, a Syrian who reigned in the 8th century.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked for a time as a bouncer and a janitor as a young man before training to be a chemist and working as a technician in a food science laboratory. After recovering from a severe illness, he was inspired to join the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1958. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was the Jesuit provincial superior in Argentina. He became the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina. The administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him to be a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Throughout his public life, Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, international visibility as pope, concern for the poor, and commitment to interreligious dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by previous popes.

Francis maintains the traditional views of the Church regarding abortion, clerical celibacy, and the ordination of women, but has initiated dialogue on the possibility of deaconesses and has made women full members of dicasteries in the Roman Curia. He maintains that the Church should be more open and welcoming for members of the LGBT community. Francis is an outspoken critic of unbridled capitalism and free market economics, consumerism, and overdevelopment; he advocates taking action on climate change, a focus of his papacy with the promulgation of Laudato si'. In international diplomacy, he helped to restore full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, supported the cause of refugees during the European and Central American migrant crises, and made a deal with the People's Republic of China to define how much influence the nation has in appointing their Catholic bishops. Since 2018, Francis has been an opponent of neo-nationalism and populism. He has faced criticism from theological conservatives on many questions, especially what some interpret as his suggestion in a footnote of Amoris Laetitia that divorced and remarried Catholics may be admitted to receive the Eucharist. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various climate-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Hurricane Isabel from ISS.jpg
... that ocean warming has been found to result in stronger hurricanes? Article on Nature News

(Pictured left: Hurricane Isabel (2003) as seen from orbit during Expedition 7 of the International Space Station.)

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This time series, based on satellite data, shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. The September 2010 extent was the third lowest in the satellite record.

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References

  1. ^ Bhargav, Vishal (2021-10-11). "Climate Change Is Making India's Monsoon More Erratic". www.indiaspend.com. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  2. ^ Tiwari, Dr Pushp Raj; Conversation, The. "Nobel prize: Why climate modellers deserved the physics award – they've been proved right again and again". phys.org. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
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