Climate Change Contents

  • Introduction. Why all the fuss about temperature?
  • Section One. Our Changing Climate: Patterns and Consequences. Detection. Detecting trends in noisy data. Climate versus weather. Recent data including increased surface temperature, decreased extent of snow and ice, and sea level rise all indicate that the Earth's climate is warming.
  • Section Two. Climatology, Briefly. A simple model can predict a planet's mean surface temperature using solar output, distance from the sun, planetary albedo, and greenhouse gases. More sophisticated models are needed to predict regional climate patterns.
  • Section Three. Humans and Climate Change. Attribution. Available evidence indicates greenhouse gas emission and other human actions have altered earth's climate. Climate change will affect people directly and indirectly.
  • Section Four. Linking Climate Change and Ecology. Warmer temperatures can affect a species phenology, growth rate, performance and overall fitness. While some species can tolerate these impacts, many species will respond to climate change by shifting their ranges poleward or up hill, by evolving adaptations to the altered climate, or by going extinct.