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Global Warming

This section is dedicated to assessing empirical science and reasonable questions as well as expectations based on the current state of knowledge and understanding of the effects of anthropogenic global warming.

Current Climate Conditions

Current Climate Conditions: This section also includes limited forecasting in US Navy data.

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Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming

Myths vs. Facts in Global Warming: This news and analysis section addresses substance of arguments such as "global warming is a hoax", "global warming is a fiction", "global warming is created to make money for Al Gore". The main fallacy noted is that most arguments are facts out of context while others are simply false representations. When the facts pertaining to the arguments are viewed in context relevance becomes obvious. The data clearly indicates global warming is happening and is human caused. At this time in the natural cycle Earth should be slightly cooling on trend, leading into what would have been the next ice age. Instead Earth is warming. There is no valid evidence that can prove otherwise. False representations or facts out of context are not a proof of any kind, they are merely incorrect.

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Summary Reports

Summarizing for policy makers current understanding of climate related science and potential impacts for risk assessment.

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Books

Understanding science and economics are key to our standards of living. Understanding why is key to the relative health of our future in relation to our socioeconomic reality. These are only a few books, but they are important in that these books deal with one of the largest and most perplexing issues we now face. It is intertwined with national security and food. It is an exacerbating factor in relation to other dangers including terrorism, food and water security, and even the cohesion of governments.

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Links

NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration), GISS (Goddard Institute of Space Studies), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), EO (Earth Observatory), Scientific Visualization, NSIDC (National Snow & Ice Data Center), NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research), UCAR (University Center for Atmospheric Research), NHC (National Hurricane Center), NCDC (National Climate Data Center), NAS (National Academy of Science), USGS (US Geological Survey), FS (Forestry Service)

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1958 - Frank Capra warns of Global Warming

1958 - Frank Capra warns of Global Warming

In 1958, Director Frank Capra made a movie for Bell Labs to explain the expected effects of 'Global Warming'. This was shortly after Revelle's paper came out. Capra, was also a scientist who graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1918 and did many science films for education.

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1989 - Margaret Thatcher

1989 - Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher delivered a speech in 1989 that was powerful, compelling and succinct. She accurately described the potentials for mankind in reasoned tones if we did not address global warming. Themes: Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Foreign policy (general discussions), Foreign policy (development, aid, etc), Foreign policy (International organizations), Science and technology, Transport

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2009 - Chancellor Angela Merkel before the US Congress

2009 - Chancellor Angela Merkel before the US Congress

Editor's note: This is the official German government translation of the speech given by Chancellor Angela Merkel before the US Congress on Nov. 3, 2009. To our knowledge, Chancellor Merkel is the only (conservative) EU State Representative to address the US Congress on the critical nature of Global Warming. In her speech before the US Congress on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel thanked the Americans for their decades-long support of Germany and for their role in helping to end the Cold War. She also reminded US politicians that the world will be looking to America and Europe in December for leadership in forging a global climate change agreement.

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Atmospheric Aerosols

Atmospheric Aerosols

Aerosols are tiny particles that are capable of suspending in the atmosphere. Most come from natural means such as dust storms, volcanoes, fires, or even vegetation and sea spray (sea salt released into the atmosphere). Human activity also contributes aerosol pollution through the alteration of natural surface cover, industrial pollutants, and the burning of fossil fuels.

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Antarctic Ice Melt

Antarctic Ice Melt

Antarctica is melting, not growing. In fact the ice mass is dropping at an accelerating rate due to multiple factors including accelerated glacial ice calving rates. The loss of sea based ice allows the Antarctic ice to move faster towards the ocean resulting in an increased rate of loss of the Antarctic ice.

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Antarctic Oscillation (AAO)

Antarctic Oscillation (AAO)

The Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) is a measure of the pressure gradient between the polar and subpolar regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Term was introduced by Thompson and Wallace (2000).

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Arctic Ice Melt

Arctic Ice Melt

It is important to understand that ice mass and ice extent are two entirely different animals when it comes to understanding what is happening in the Arctic. The ice mass at the North Pole is rapidly diminishing. The effects of global warming on the Arctic ice is more pronounced due to the Arctic Amplification effect.

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Arctic Oscillation (AO)

Arctic Oscillation (AO)

The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is a large scale mode of climate variability, also referred to as the Northern Hemisphere annular mode. The AO is a climate pattern characterized by winds circulating counterclockwise around the Arctic at around 55°N latitude.

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Atmospheric Circulation

Atmospheric Circulation

Atmospheric Circulation: To better understand how our atmosphere functions it helps to examine its major components and interactions. Of course understanding the finer points means understanding heat energy transfers processes from outside and within our atmosphere. That includes energy from the sun, and also how land and oceans transfer heat, which then affect how Earth's atmospheric components behave within the Earth climate system.

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Arctic/Polar Amplification Effect

Arctic/Polar Amplification Effect

The Arctic/Polar Amplification Effect is mainly caused by a combination of a few things. The chief components include the magnitude of change regarding ice extent and snow cover loss allows for a more dramatic change in climate architecture of the polar region. This also relates to the amount of land in the northern hemisphere verses the southern hemisphere.

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Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)

The AMO is an ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time and a difference of about 1°F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years. Source: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/amo_faq.php

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Atmospheric Composition

Atmospheric Composition

Understanding Atmospheric Composition is both simple and handy in understanding how mankind can influence climate. Many people think the atmosphere is just too big for humans to influence? It sounds like a reasonable statement, until you realize that you don't need to change the whole atmosphere to change climate... you just need to change a little bit of it.

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Attribution

Attribution

Climate attribution literally has to do with what causes something, or "to explain by indicating a cause". With regard to climate and weather it is important to understand the differences between what attribution can be assigned to climate and/or weather events at a given moment, or over a span of time. The longer the span of time, the more the attribution moves away from weather and towards climate, and vice versa.

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Climate Models

Climate Models

GCM's (General Circulation Models) or sometimes mistakenly referred to as Global Climate Model, Typically refers to a three-dimensional model of the global atmosphere used in climate modeling (often erroneously called “Global Climate Model”). This term often requires additional qualification (e.g., as to whether or not the atmosphere is fully coupled to an ocean as in AOGCM, which stands for Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model.

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Climate Feedback/Sensitivity

Climate Feedback/Sensitivity

Climate Feedbacks: An interaction mechanism between processes in the climate system is called a climate feedback, when the result of an initial process triggers changes in a second process that in turn influences the initial one. A positive feedback intensifies the original process, and a negative feedback reduces it.

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Climate Forcing

Climate Forcing

Climate forcing has to do with the amount of energy we receive from the sun, and the amount of energy we radiate back into space. Variances in climate forcing are determined by physical influences on the atmosphere such as orbital and axial changes as well as the amount of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.

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Dansgaard Oeschger Events

Dansgaard Oeschger Events

The (estimated) 1470 Year Climate Cycle - Often quoted as the 1500 year cycle is a popular red herring used by S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery. It is also a real climate cycle known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events. It is of unknown origin.

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Earth's Radiation Budget

Earth's Radiation Budget

How the Earth stays warm has to do with the total amount of energy we receive from the sun (around 1366.5 W/m2 when measured in space, and the amount that actually makes it to the surface of Earth is estimated to be around 342 W/m2 on average. Once the energy makes it to the surface, it changes from short wave radiation to longwave radiation which is heat energy. Clouds, dark and light surfaces and greenhouse gases generally regulate the amount of energy that is held within our climate system.

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Empirical: Modeling v. Observations

An interesting twist in the argument about what can be projected is the idea that we can only accept the empirical. Another way to state this might be reality vs. modeling. Climate models as we have pointed out are always wrong. It is important to understand the difference between the observations (reality) and the empirical models.

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Galactic Cosmic Rays

Galactic Cosmic Rays

Galactic Cosmic Rays have been considered as a possible relevant cause in our current global warming event. Examinations of claims that galactic cosmic rays are responsible four our current global warming event have been assessed through peer review and peer response. The consensus remains that there is no significant correlation between galactic cosmic rays and climate change, especially in relation to our current warming event.

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Greenhouse Gases/Effect

Greenhouse Gases/Effect

Greenhouse Gases (GHG's) are the various gases that block outgoing long-wave infrared from easily leaving our atmosphere. The Greenhouse Effect (GHE) is the physical mechanism of this blocking mechanism in our atmosphere that influence how much heat we retain within the atmosphere.

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Greenland Ice Melt

Greenland Ice Melt

The ice is melting in Greenland. The ice melt rate is also accelerating. What does this mean? That depends on your context in time, your geographic location, and ultimately, why it is happening?

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History of Climate Science

History of Climate Science

The history of climate science goes back to the early 1900's. This section contains a chronological listing of relevant climate science discoveries and events related to anthropogenic global warming. The information here was compiled by Spencer Weart (see links for reference).

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Human Caused Global Warming

Human Caused Global Warming

How do we know current global warming is human caused, or man made? Is global warming real, or a hoax? Consider the facts: the climate system is indicated to have left the natural cycle path; multiple lines of evidence and studies from different fields all point to the human fingerprint on current climate change; the convergence of these evidence lines include ice mass loss, pattern changes, ocean acidification, plant and species migration, isotopic signature of CO2, changes in atmospheric composition, and many others. The only identifiable cause explaining these changes with confidence is human influence and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Science has simply not found any other cause factor that can account for the scale of the recent increase in radiative forcing and associated warming.

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IPCC Reports

The International Panel on Climate Change

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Keeling Curves

Keeling Curves

Most understand the Keeling curve as an upward trend of CO2 in the atmosphere as measured by the Mauna Loa measurements of Charles David Keeling. But there are two Keeling curves and they are related to each other in more than one way. While CO2 increases, it stands to reason that O2 will decrease (C + O2 = CO2). The two curves also have family ties.

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Latitudinal Shift

Global warming is not only expected to cause a latitudinal shift of the jet-stream, it already has. There has been a measured poleward of the jet-stream in the past 30 years. This is an expected result of global warming.

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Maunder Minimum

Maunder Minimum

The Maunder Minimum was a period of low sunspot activity (a quiet sun). This low activity was correlated with a cooling period that caused crops to fail and had many impacts on the human economy.

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Medieval Warm Period

Medieval Warm Period

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) occurred around one thousand years ago. This is known by examinations of ice core records and multiple proxy models from multiple interrelated disciplines.

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Methane & Hydrate/Clathrate

Methane is a strong Greenhouse gas and human activity has increased methane in our atmosphere around 148% since the beginning of the industrial age. Some evidence indicates regional climate shift based on natural methane release, such as those that may be associated with the demise of the Anastasi or the Inca's. More research is needed on causal relationships. Evidence in the paleo record indicates that methane release concurrent with other contributing factors can have substantial impacts on the earth climate. It is estimated that a warmer world increases the risk of methane release

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Milankovitch Cycles

Milankovitch Cycles

What are Milankovitch Cycles? Natural global warming, and cooling, is considered to be initiated by Milankovitch cycles. These orbital and axial variations influence the initiation of climate change in long-term natural cycles of 'ice ages' and 'warm periods' known as 'glacial' and 'interglacial' periods. Our current climate forcing shows we are outside of that natural cycle forcing range.

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Natural Cycle

This section is dedicated to information about the natural cycle in relation to changes in the atmosphere and forcing levels.

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Natural Variation

Natural Variation

Natural variation includes internal and external variability influences such as the solar Schwabe cycle, oceanic cycles, seasonal influences based on changes caused by the interaction of the various natural oscillations in the climate system. These variations combined influence regional climate and weather on periodic basis as well as influence weather event patterns.

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North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a measure of the strength of the westerlies across the North Atlantic. Originally defined by Sir Gilbert Walker in 1932 as the difference in pressure between Ponta Delgada on the Azores and Stykkisholmur in Iceland.

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El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

ENSO stands for El Niño/ Southern Oscillation. The ENSO cycle refers to the coherent and sometimes very strong year-to-year variations in sea- surface temperatures, convective rainfall, surface air pressure, and atmospheric circulation that occur across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Niño and La Niña represent opposite extremes in the ENSO cycle.

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Southern Oscillation Index (SOI)

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is one measure of the large-scale fluctuations in air pressure occurring between the western and eastern tropical Pacific (i.e., the state of the Southern Oscillation) during El Niño and La Niña episodes. Traditionally, this index has been calculated based on the differences in air pressure anomaly between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia.

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Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a long-term fluctuation of the Pacific Ocean that waxes and wanes between cool and warm phases approximately every 5 to 20 years. In the cool phase, higher than normal sea-surface heights caused by warm water from a horseshoe pattern that connects the north, west and southern Pacific, with cool water in the middle. During most of the 1980s and 1990s, the Pacific was locked in the oscillation's warm phase, during which these warm and cool regions are reversed. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-066

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Pacific/North American Pattern (PNA)

Pacific / North American Pattern (PNA) – The Pacific/ North American teleconnection pattern (PNA) is one of the most prominent modes of low-frequency variability in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics. The positive phase of the PNA pattern features above-average heights in the vicinity of Hawaii and over the intermountain region of North America, and below-average heights located south of the Aleutian Islands and over the southeastern United States.

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Risk Analysis

Greg Craven has done a very good job of outlining the basic science and risks analysis in a series of videos that he has produced in response to the concerns over the actual science as well as those skeptical of that science. From a risk perspective, he has done a wonderful job in the series. The science has only a few minor representations that are generally slightly out of context. This does not take away from the excellent risk analysis presentation of the arguments.

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Security

National and international security concerns regarding global warming.

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Solar

Information about Solar Irradiance.

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Temperature (Global)

Temperature (Global)

Global Temperature: NCAR/UCAR, NCDC, and NASA GISS Analysis: The current analysis uses surface air temperatures measurements from the following data sets: the unadjusted data of the Global Historical Climatology Network (Peterson and Vose, 1997 and 1998), United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) data, and SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) data from Antarctic stations. The basic analysis method is described by Hansen et al. (1999), with several modifications described by Hansen et al. (2001) also included. Modifications to the analysis since 2001 are described on the separate Updates to Analysis.

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Thermal Inertia

The context of thermal inertia in long-term is different than short-term

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Tipping Points

This section is dedicated to information about climate tipping points.

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Weather Intensity

Weather Intensity

Weather intensities are driven by natural variations and overall climate forcing. Forcing agents vary such as surface reflectivity, greenhouse gases and natural variation in atmospheric and ocean cycles as well as longer term forcing agents such as the Milankovitch cycles that drive long term climate change. Even longer term forcing agents have to do with tectonic shifts over millions of years.

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Weather v. Climate

Weather v. Climate

What is the difference between weather and climate? Weather is considered short-term variability, while climate is long-term trend based on multiple factors. These factors depend on context. In other words, one persons weather is another persons climate. Generally speaking, in the context of human caused global warming, climate is considered 30+ years of trend with attribution.

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What We Know

Paleoclimatology Records: The Paleo Temperature Record: From the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology: If anyone is not sure if there are enough measurements for us to have a good idea of what the past temperature and atmosphere was, the following list shows the types and disciplines from which paleo data is measured to model the past climate of earth.

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What We Can Do About Global Warming

What We Can Do About Global Warming

Often when someone realizes that climate is an important issue and that human-kind is influencing the climate, the next obvious question arises. What can we do? Here are some simple steps and considerations that we can all do to help.

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What We Don't Know

One of the important questions concerns what we don't know. This section is dedicated to putting what we don't know into perspective with what we know in order to understand what it means.

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