Questions tagged [climate-change]

Questions about changes of the climate system, including questions about global warming.

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46
votes
4answers
38k views

How many trees would I have to plant to solve Global Warming?

According to Nasa, causes of the Earth's greenhouse effect include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and CFCs. Carbon dioxide gets the most press, and NASA's page says: Carbon ...
31
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3answers
3k views

How does anthropogenic heating affect global warming?

Anthropogenic-sourced greenhouse gases are commonly cited as the main source for human-caused climate change. However, something that I never see discussed is the actual heat produced by human ...
10
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7answers
21k views

Is there any experiment to prove that CO2 with the atmosphere concentration can have greenhouse effect?

All gas molecules have the capability to absorb radiation energy. $\rm{CO}_2$ has much less capability to absorb radiation energy, comparing with water vapor. In Earth's atmosphere currently $\rm{CO}...
14
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4answers
811 views

How did plants adapt to $\small\sf{CO_2}$ levels past 400k years? Why won't they do it again?

(Description from climate.nasa.gov: This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric $\small\sf{...
23
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3answers
731 views

How good were climate models of the 1990s at predicting the global temperature trends of the 2000s/2010s?

Was there a significant bias between the ensemble of climate models and the long-term temperature trends? What about spatial patterns?
14
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4answers
3k views

Why do greenhouse gases affect ocean temperature so much?

As I understand it, greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation from the sun. Much of that radiation would otherwise continue and be absorbed on the planet surface in the ocean or on land. If CO2 ...
31
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2answers
1k views

How much of the current global warming is due to human influence?

Approximately what proportion of the global warming seen over the the last century is attributed to anthropogenic sources?
23
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3answers
10k views

Why is there a seasonal cycle to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere?

I'm doing some homework on the increase of $\mathrm{CO}_2$ in the atmosphere. On one of the graphs it shows the amount of $\mathrm{CO}_2$ peaks in May and has a low in November. Why is this? Shouldn't ...
43
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3answers
10k views

How do 'greenhouse gases' let heat in, but not let it out?

That honestly doesn't make any sense to me. How could heat pass through a gas one way but not the other? Its not like our upper atmostphere has a bunch of doors that can only open one way. To me, that ...
29
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2answers
5k views

Is this XKCD comic an accurate timeline of the earth's average temperature?

Apologies for the length of the image, which I found at http://xkcd.com/1732/. I'm mostly interested in the temperature line itself, both the historical data and the forward projections. The reason ...
26
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4answers
4k views

Could the extraction of energy by wind turbines be harmful to the environment?

Wind turbines work by converting some of the energy from wind to electrical energy. Is it possible to have too many turbines, leading to them removing too much energy from the wind? I'm not an ...
18
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3answers
5k views

Do fossil fuels insulate the crust from the Earth's interior?

I was doing a project for my English class, and I came upon the article Energy conservation in the earth's crust and climate change. I can't view the full text of the article, but the abstract piqued ...
15
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4answers
11k views

What would be the effect of bringing seawater pipes to the Sahara desert?

This is a childhood dream. What would happen if pipes were installed (similar in principle to the Great Man-Made River, but for seawater) to continuously pump seawater into the Sahara desert. Let'...
15
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1answer
314 views

How will climate change affect the 3D distribution of lapse rate in the atmosphere?

The lapse rate is the rate at which temperature decreases with height. By "3D" distribution, I mean distribution across all latitudes, longitudes, and heights. Would climate change change the lapse ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Axial Obliquity and Climate Change

The Wikipedia page for Earth's Axial tilt says: Earth's obliquity oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000-year cycle. It is currently 23.44 degrees and decreasing. My Questions are: ...
5
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2answers
297 views

Is non-randomly-sampled historical data representative?

I'm a global warming skeptic, and one of my concerns is the accuracy of historical global temperatures. Since these temperatures weren't sampled at random locations or gridded points, can they be ...
20
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5answers
1k views

Academic but accessible defense of the scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change?

I'm an intelligent and well-educated guy, but all of my schooling has been in economics, statistics, and public policy. I'm interested in reading a thorough explanation/defense of the scientific ...
13
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1answer
457 views

Who are the 3% in the often cited “97% of climate scientists”?

The media have variously reported that: Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. Based on this ...
8
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1answer
204 views

Does the amount of energy released from burning of fossil fuels have a measurable impact on global warming? [duplicate]

I understand that the main issue of global warming is greenhouse gases that trap solar energy instead of allowing it to bounce back into space. That being said, I've always had this impression or idea ...
8
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2answers
651 views

Will global warming lead to agriculture in the Arctic?

From what I understand, global warming will make growing food a lot harder in areas like the American Midwest because temperatures will become too high for most crops. At the same time, Arctic (and ...
6
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0answers
435 views

How much of Earth's surface would be covered by water if all ice melted? [duplicate]

I'm trying to find how much water would be on the surface of Earth and how much surface would it cover (how much land will remain) if all the ice at the North and South Poles (and everywhere else) ...
6
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1answer
68 views

What is meant by controlling and reacting factor?

I'm interested in issues related to Global warming and therefore started to read about it from this website --> Link As I was reading I got stuck in the third paragraph of ...
3
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1answer
111 views

What happens when the North and South poles flip?

How long does it take the magnetic field to move once the poles start to flip? What environmentally would change? Does the core of the Earth flip? The magnetic poles are moving now. When will it ...
16
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1answer
375 views

What is the methodology to analyze future climatic extremes using the results of climate models?

What is the accepted methodology to predict future climatic extremes using the results of climate models? I have recently read a report about climatic extremes considering climate change (MICE, 2002)....
24
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4answers
5k views

Why is the temperature *still* rising?

2015 is the hottest year on record, and the average temperature continues to rise. I don't understand why this continues, as (over the past twenty years) so much work was put into reducing Global ...
37
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6answers
9k views

Is the sea level rise unusual?

I'm discussing climate change with a friend who is a climate change denier, basically the argument is that looking at this graph, is not clear that something unusual is going on, so the sea level rise ...
27
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6answers
6k views

How much will sea level rise if all the polar ice melts?

There are many movies about global warming, which say that melting of all polar ice would cause the whole world to suffer a huge flood. According my research (teachers, TV, Internet) people hold one ...
15
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1answer
352 views

Can climate models reliably predict meteorological extremes?

This question is related to and extension of my previous question which was about the methodology used to predict future climatic extremes: What is the methodology to analyze future climatic extremes ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Does natural plant decomposition release more greenhouse gases than burning

I understand that all plant matter releases CO2 as it decomposes and also when it burns in, for example, a forest fire. My assumption, upon which this question is based, is that the CO2 release is the ...
7
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2answers
183 views

Does Earth risk losing its oceans to space due to global warming?

I read that we are facing the very real possibility of Earth's average temperature rising by more that 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. As I understand our planet is constantly loosing ...
7
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1answer
402 views

How will global warming affect climate systems like the ENSO or the MJO?

How will global warming influence climate systems such as the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) or the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)?
16
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5answers
1k views

Is global warming being moderated by latent heat of melting polar ice?

I've only had a secondary education in physics, so bear with me, but with the greenhouse effect and all, wouldn't we be much hotter already if the ice melt-rate wasn't increasing, since more (heat) ...
15
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2answers
956 views

How do the known abrupt climate change events fit into the xkcd Earth temperature timeline?

The xkcd "Earth Temperature Timeline" depicts the global average temperature during the past 20,000 years, based on the known data. We already have a question about the chart's general accuracy, but I ...
12
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2answers
1k views

When will glaciation resume? Has global warming delayed return to global cooling?

As far as I understand, we are currently living in the Holocene, an interglacial period of the Quaternary glaciation, i.e. the current ice age that has so far lasted 2.6 million years. The Holocene ...
9
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3answers
763 views

Sea Level Rise due to Climate Change

I've been trying to make sense of the argument surrounding sea level rise and not getting very far. Those who claim that Sea Level Rise is insignificant generally assert that we have been unable to ...
8
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1answer
235 views

“New” cloud types: Can they be used as markers for climate change observations?

This question was originally posted on Physics SE, (now deleted) but I think this community is a better fit. This article "New" type of Clouds, reports that a revision to the International Cloud ...
19
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3answers
711 views

How do we know that we are NOT in an “Ice Age?”

Historically, the earth has had five "Ice Ages" Each of them lasted millions, tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of years. The last ice age reportedly ended perhaps 10,000 years ago. That ...
16
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1answer
1k views

How much would the Greenland landmass isostatic rebound contribute to long term climate change?

In reading the question What would the geology and climate of a supposed landmass near the pole be like, assuming a thoroughly warmer planet?, it came to mind that another factor may cause a shift in ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Simple Climate Models that Predict Climate Change

I have a physics/maths background, and to me the most convincing evidence of a scientific fact is often a very simple model that gives reasonable results. A simplified model, which you can fully ...
13
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3answers
4k views

How will sea level rise be distributed across the globe?

Sea level rise from melting glaciers will not be uniformly distributed across the globe. However, it isn't clear to me what places will have the most and least extreme changes in sea level rise. I ...
11
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2answers
296 views

Has the number of natural disasters per year increased significantly in the years since human-caused climate change started?

Human-caused global warming has had an increasingly significant effect on the earth since the industrial era began. Since the beginning of the industrial era, has there been a significant increase in ...
11
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3answers
4k views

How long to melt all the polar ice?

The answers to this question say that the sea level will rise 66m if all the polar ice, etc, melts. How long will this take? Transporting incredible amounts of heat energy to the poles and injecting ...
10
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3answers
344 views

Did climate cool down when underground hydrocarbons stocks formed?

As far as I understand, the dominant theory of modern climate change says that recent warming is mainly caused by the massive burning of hydrocarbons that used to be stored in solid form mostly ...
10
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1answer
168 views

Noctilucent clouds and anthropogenic climate change

In reading about observing noctilucent clouds, several articles about this phenomena, such as Science Daily's Spectacular 'Night-shining' Clouds Could Be A Harbinger Of Climate Change, suggest that ...
10
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2answers
891 views

To stop anthropogenic climate change, is it necessary to stop extracting petroleum and start pumping carbon under ground?

The amount of carbon (C) on Earth is constants. As far as i understand, all carbon that is not found in the atmosphere or the oceans in the form of CO2 or CO is stored either in the biomass (plants, ...
10
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2answers
664 views

Does the long-term ice-core temperature record provide reasonable evidence that the current temperature trend is not anthropogenic?

When looking at the long term ice-core temperature record, it very clearly shows a ~100,000 year cyclical trend with warming spikes and gradual cooling. To the untrained eye, it seems that such a ...
9
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1answer
7k views

CO2 emissions per calorie (food)

I have seen several lists with CO2 emissions by weight for producing several different food products. I think this is an interesting consideration, and possible argument for vegetarianism/veganism. I ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Topographical model of a wind-farm [duplicate]

Has anyone ever built and tested a topographical model of a 200 mile radius with a wind-farm in the middle to see how much wind speeds and wind direction change when the farm is active compared to ...
19
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2answers
264 views

Will tropical cyclones form and be sustained in areas they previously were not due to global climate change?

With global climate change, is it possible that tropical cyclones (as seen in the Atlantic basin for example) are going to form and be sustained in regions where they previously did not, for example ...
14
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1answer
548 views

Temperature as a function of luminosity and greenhouse gas concentrations

The evidence seems clear that there is an interrelationship between solar luminosity, greenhouse gas concentrations, and temperature. Has temperature as a function of luminosity and greenhouse gas ...