Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic processes (such as oceanic circulation), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world; these latter effects are currently causing global warming, and "climate change" is often used to describe human-specific impacts.
Scientists actively work to understand past and future climate by using observations and theoretical models. Borehole temperature profiles, ice cores, floral and faunal records, glacial and periglacial processes, stable isotope and other sediment analyses, and sea level records serve to provide a climate record that spans the geologic past. More recent data are provided by the instrumental record. Physically based general circulation models are often used in theoretical approaches to match past climate data, make future projections, and link causes and effects in climate change.
A "hiatus" in global warming so far this century is partly caused by natural variations in a chaotic climate and is unlikely to last, a draft United Nations report by leading climate scientists says.
As scientists and weather experts continue to be concerned with the major threat of global warming, often associated with higher temperatures than normal that can potentially lead to extreme weather events, researchers quantified how a global cooling event 116-million years ago had severe long-term ...
The United Nations have been discussing everything from carbon dioxide emissions to more violent weather patterns as they talk about climate change in Germany. Yet these talks have now been set back by six months after a decision making spat.
Scientists have discovered that rapid climate change that occurred almost 80,000 years ago sparked surges in cultural innovation that possibly helped propel early modern humans into a more advanced society.
A vast pool of warm water stretches along the equator from Africa to the western Pacific Ocean. Now, scientists have discovered that the level of this water may have influenced the tropical climate of our Earth during the last ice age.
Rising sea levels are a huge threat for island nations, such as Grenada. Now, it turns out that the ocean is already claiming Caribbean land as it sinks into the water.
During long, severe winters, the thick blanket of snow that blankets the north can actually help preserve plants and animals that remain in the harsh conditions. Yet as climate change causes warmer temperatures, this snow may no longer be as prevalent in some northern ecosystems, putting species at ...
Till date, humans were primarily held responsible for the extinction of the extraordinary gigantic animals that once roamed Australia. However, this claim lacked direct evidence. But a recent scientific study challenges this theory and blames drastic climate change for the extinction of the megafaun...
Climate change will not only cause boreal forests to shift north, but also may cause them to release far more carbon than expected.
How do we moderate climate change? Plant more trees. A new study reveals that plants can actually release gases that help form clouds and cool the atmosphere.
Temperatures continue to rise across our planet, and ocean temperatures are no exception. Now, officials have announced that the sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem in 2012 were the highest recorded in 150 years.
It turns out that reducing carbon dioxide isn't the only way to halt global warming. A new study reveals that sea level rise could be halted by reducing short-lived climate pollutants, gases that aren't nearly as persistent as CO2.