The Climate Change Portal

Surface air temperature change over the past 50 years.[1]

In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate change in a broader sense also includes previous long-term changes to Earth's climate. The current rise in global average temperature is primarily caused by humans burning fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel use, deforestation, and some agricultural and industrial practices add to greenhouse gases. These gases absorb some of the heat that the Earth radiates after it warms from sunlight, warming the lower atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas driving global warming, has grown by about 50% and is at levels unseen for millions of years.

Climate change has an increasingly large impact on the environment. Deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common. Amplified warming in the Arctic has contributed to thawing permafrost, retreat of glaciers and sea ice decline. 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. Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include ocean heating, ocean acidification and sea level rise.

Climate change threatens people with increased flooding, extreme heat, increased food and water scarcity, more disease, and economic loss. Human migration and conflict can also be a result. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Societies and ecosystems will experience more severe risks without action to limit warming. Adapting to climate change through efforts like flood control measures or drought-resistant crops partially reduces climate change risks, although some limits to adaptation have already been reached. Poorer communities are responsible for a small share of global emissions, yet have the least ability to adapt and are most vulnerable to climate change.

Many climate change impacts have been felt in recent years, with 2023 the warmest on record at +1.48 °C (2.66 °F) since regular tracking began in 1850. Additional warming will increase these impacts and can trigger tipping points, such as melting all 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 would require halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Fossil fuel use can be phased out by conserving energy and switching to energy sources that do not produce significant carbon pollution. These energy sources include wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power. Cleanly generated electricity can replace fossil fuels for powering transportation, heating buildings, and running industrial processes. Carbon can also be removed from the atmosphere, for instance by increasing forest cover and farming with methods that capture carbon in soil. (Full article...)

Air pollution from a coking oven

Air pollution is the contamination of air due to the presence of substances called pollutants in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. It is also the contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment either by chemical, physical, or biological agents that alters the natural features of the atmosphere. There are many different types of air pollutants, such as gases (including ammonia, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane and chlorofluorocarbons), particulates (both organic and inorganic) and biological molecules. Air pollution can cause diseases, allergies, and even death to humans; it can also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and crops, and may damage the natural environment (for example, climate change, ozone depletion or habitat degradation) or built environment (for example, acid rain). Air pollution can be caused by both human activities and natural phenomena.

Air quality is closely related to the Earth's climate and ecosystems globally. Many of the contributors of air pollution are also sources of greenhouse emission i.e., burning of fossil fuel.

Air pollution is a significant risk factor for a number of pollution-related diseases, including respiratory infections, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, and lung cancer. Growing evidence suggests that air pollution exposure may be associated with reduced IQ scores, impaired cognition, increased risk for psychiatric disorders such as depression and detrimental perinatal health. The human health effects of poor air quality are far reaching, but principally affect the body's respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Individual reactions to air pollutants depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, and the individual's health status and genetics. (Full article...)
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Credit: Jami Dwyer
Jungle burned for agriculture in southern Mexico


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Oladosu in 2020

Adenike Oladosu (born 1994) is a Nigerian climate activist, and initiator of the school strike for climate in Nigeria. She has showcased her climate action at international conferences including the UN Climate Change Conference, World Economic Forum, and Elevate festival in Graz-Austria.

In December 2019, Oladosu attended the COP25 gathering in Spain as a Nigerian youth diplomat where she gave a "moving address" about climate change in Africa and how it influences lives. (Full article...)

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

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... that the research network Drawdown estimates that educating girls is the sixth most efficient action against climate change? (Pictured left: "Schoolgirls in Guinea)

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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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  1. ^ "GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (v4)". NASA. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  2. ^ Bhargav, Vishal (2021-10-11). "Climate Change Is Making India's Monsoon More Erratic". Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  3. ^ Tiwari, Dr Pushp Raj; Conversation, The. "Nobel prize: Why climate modellers deserved the physics award – they've been proved right again and again". Retrieved 2021-10-11.
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