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Questions tagged [climate-change]

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

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Does climate change cause increase in CO2?

My main question is how do we know that increase in global temperature does not CAUSE an increase in CO2 concentration? I am trying to develop my mental model of what's going on for the climate ...
Acumen Simulator's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can volcanos change the climate?

I have heard politicians claiming that volcanoes are the sole cause of global warming and using so called "NASA data" to show that the Earth is actually cooling instead of warming. While the nature ...
Lucian09474's user avatar
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Is volume of air increasing as CO2 levels increase?

CO2 levels are increasing, they have crossed 400 ppm, which means that of every million gas molecules in the air, 400 are of CO2. It has been increasing. Does that mean the total volume of air in the ...
Ram Keswani's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why are CO2 sensors so expensive when CO sensors aren't?

Please excuse me if Earth Science is not the correct place to ask this question. I read a New York Times article about increasing $\small\mathsf{CO_2}$ levels in the atmosphere: "Carbon in Atmosphere ...
hwmartin's user avatar
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3 answers
471 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 ...
Martin Van der Linden's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
308 views

Why does the rising of high clouds due to climate change impart positive radiative feedback on radiative forcing?

As seen in the figure below. The larger the temperature difference between surface and cloud, the more positive the radiative forcing is from the cloud. So as the cloud moves up, it supposedly ...
InquilineKea's user avatar
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1 answer
421 views

Unstable North Polar Vortex?

What would cause a polar vortex to become unstable a split into 3 smaller ones? How rare is this and what long term effects could this cause if the vortex stays unstable? http://www.severe-weather.eu/...
Muze's user avatar
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1 answer
570 views

Is the Younger Dryas associated with an extinction event?

It's often said that, while warming and cooling have happened before, what is unusual about the current anthropogenic warming is that it's happening so fast, relative to previous warming phases$^1$. ...
naught101's user avatar
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3 answers
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Impacts of high-altitude emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) compared to sea level GHG emissions

I often hear that the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by planes is particularly concerning because the emission of GHGs at high altitudes has an even higher impact on global warming than the ...
Stücke's user avatar
  • 213
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2 answers
2k views

How do I calculate Per capita $\ce{CO2}$ emissions?

I need to find the per capita $\ce{CO2}$ emissions for Canada in 2010 (expressed in kg/day). I know that Canada had $\ce{CO2}$ emissions of 0.55 (Gt) and a population of 34 million in 2010. I am just ...
Sofia June's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
212 views

About the actual radiative impact of greenhouse gas emission over time

Say we will emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas over the next 50 years (e.g. 100 billion tons CO2-eq in total). What would happen if I implement a certain GHG mitigation effort to cut the same ...
y chung's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Puffin's user avatar
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2 answers
2k views

Why does the emission of aircrafts at higher altitudes have a greater effect on the climate?

I am trying to understand the footprint of a flight. First Wikipedia says (without quoting a source): The level and effects of CO2 emissions are currently believed to be broadly the same ...
foaly's user avatar
  • 201
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1 answer
329 views

Regarding various types of atmospheric pollution

Does all the car pollution (from about 150 million cars at least in the U.S. and a lot more in all of North America and the rest of the world) all the smoke-stack pollution of various factories and ...
201044's user avatar
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2 answers
815 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 ...
B T's user avatar
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1 answer
257 views

What is the potential impact of hurricane intensification and sea level rise on coastal flooding?

Climate change has the potential to increase flooding by hurricane intensification (magnitude and intensity) and by sea level rise. Many communities around the world are already exposed to coastal ...
arkaia's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
194 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
283 views

Does clearing snow contribute to climate change?

I've been reflecting on climate change and pondering how much of it is truly man-made. Anyone who's shoveled a walkway know that the snow melts faster beside the walkway than it does in the middle of ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
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1 answer
455 views

What makes a nuclear winter so extreme and destructive?

This may be a sort of, pertinent to the times, and disturbing question, inspired by the difficulties surrounding North Korea and the situation with it and nuclear weapons. I've heard of this idea of "...
The_Sympathizer's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

I just read news that Antarctica had set a new record high temperature, above 18 °C. How can this be the case if it is currently winter there?

Currently it is winter in Antarctica. According to news I read, Antarctica has set a new record high temperature, above 18 °C. How did this temperature records occur?
Anixx's user avatar
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2 answers
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Could this study "totally dismantle" Global Warming claims?

Could this study "totally dismantle" Global Warming claims? That's the assertion made in the article ‘Bombshell’ climate-change study could totally dismantle the claim humans are causing global ...
RBarryYoung's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Kronimiciad's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the consensus among geologists about climate change being caused by humans?

I'm terribly frustrated with the way that climate change has been debated in Europe. I live in the Netherlands and members of one of the biggest parties here, the Party for Freedom (PVV), frequently ...
titusAdam's user avatar
  • 193
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2 answers
871 views

Are cattle really contributing to global warming?

Let me be straight up. I'm a physicist, I've no doubt about climate change and the part we play in it. I had been reading about cattle being one of the alleged main causes of climate change. I get ...
R. Rankin's user avatar
  • 191
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1 answer
3k views

Why is carbon pollution given more importance than Sulfur pollution or Nitrogen pollution?

Nitrous oxide ($N_2O$) - primary greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide ($CO_2$) - primary greenhouse gas Methane ($CH_4$) - primary greenhouse gas, explosive Nitrogen monoxide ($NO$) - secondary greenhouse ...
Neel's user avatar
  • 314
9 votes
2 answers
876 views

What caused peak CO2 to rise, starting about 400,000 years ago?

This question assumes the accuracy of this (and similar) charts. Source of image. From the image, CO2 peaked at about 260, perhaps 265 ppm during the interglacial periods between 800,000 years ago ...
userLTK's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
150 views

Why does the Arctic warm so fast despite being so white?

It may be a silly question but why does the Arctic warm so fast despite being so white ("albedo" is the word, I believe)? Isn't all that whiteness supposed to deflect all those pesky sun ...
Sergey Zolotarev's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
521 views

Could the current climate change events cause long-term problems in the viability of Earth to sustain life?

There are a lot of reports on the consequences of climate change for the relative short term. From what I understand, in the next 100 years or so, we will face: global floods of coastal areas, ...
Nzall's user avatar
  • 215
9 votes
2 answers
250 views

How can half a degree of average temperature result in such devastating impact on coral reefs?

Yesterday I read a number of news stories about the new IPCC's (International Panel on Climate Change) report regarding the current state of global warming. It reported that we are on track for ...
Zebrafish's user avatar
  • 251
9 votes
1 answer
153 views

Is the Arctic ice dissapearing faster than IPCC models say?

Are observations of Arctic sea ice in accord with what the IPCC forecasts says they should be? And as such is the ice reducing in an exponential or linear way? For instance, from https://www....
Jimmy Widdle's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is altitude of everything decreasing due to sea level rise?

We know that sea level is rising, though some people say climate change is fake. Altitude is defined as the height of something measured from sea level. Since sea level is increasing, and the ...
Ram Keswani's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
sbl's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Carbon's role in ocean acidification

This might seem like a basic question, but I'm a little confused about the effects on ocean acidification of different carbon compounds. I have heard that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the ...
Warbo's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
1 answer
194 views

Dataset for expected sea level rise in case of massive meltdowns (Greenland/Antarctica)

Around the time climate change became a 'public issue' (let's say shortly after An inconvenient truth came out), figures started getting published about the expected (global) sea level rise in case of ...
Jan Doggen's user avatar
  • 2,679
9 votes
6 answers
612 views

Any historical examples of destructive climate warming?

Summation: Local cooling climate changes, since the last ice age seem relatively common and all seem to cause significant harm to human population. But I can't find instances of the reverse, warming ...
TechZen's user avatar
  • 571
8 votes
6 answers
843 views

Will the Mini Ice Age solve our Global Warming Heat problem

There is news on the web saying that there will be Mini Ice Age in couple of decades. The question is: Will this Mini Ice Age take away all the excessive heat and prevent Global Warming?
uefi.boot's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
9k views

High albedo vs low albedo

Albedo is a measure of the amount of light reflected back by an object that is incident on it. So, high albedo means that a greater portion of light falling on something is reflected back. This also ...
HARVEER RAWAT's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does CO2 contribute to global warming?

CO2 is a common agent in fire extinguishers, which suppresses fire. How does this same chemical contribute to global warming when it also puts out fires?
Alex Mendoza's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

What would it be like to live in an ice age?

If you were born in the most recent ice age, how different would your life be compared to how you live it today? Furthermore, if humans currently lived in an ice age, how would it affect life today?
Eevee's user avatar
  • 485
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is pure "heat" harmful to the environment?

Is heat, dissipated from a hot conductor to the surrounding air harmful to the environment? If it were large-scale would it have any negative eco-effect? Is a source of heat, considered harmful to ...
user3125's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are plastics a carbon sink and how much carbon is released to the atmosphere making them?

If we were to make some technical jump to renewable fuel and renewable energy, would making plastics from oil release green house gasses, how much, and would plastic function as a carbon sink? Sorry ...
user245614's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could Global Climate Change increase the average moisture in the air?

Given several hundred years, assuming global climate change results in the melting of the polar ice caps which leads to an increase in surface area of the oceans and an overall warming of the earth (...
Kim's user avatar
  • 83
8 votes
1 answer
155 views

How will the rising ocean affect aquatic life?

On one hand it creates more habitat for oceanic life, on the other hand, it warms up the oceans and mixes the salt and fresh waters.
tox123's user avatar
  • 587
8 votes
2 answers
135 views

Is the impact of carbon emision dependent on the location on the earth?

While I was reading how the EU taxes aviation companies based on carbon emissions it occurred to me that the effect of carbon emissions on global temperature etc. may depend on where the carbon is ...
St.Clair Bij's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
281 views

What exactly is "Land-Use Change and Forestry"?

What exactly is "Land-Use Change and Forestry" and why is it sometimes hugely positive (Indonesia) but sometimes hugely negative (China)? Isn't it supposed to be a type of source, not sink (...
Sergey Zolotarev's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
342 views

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) future prediction - Academic papers?

I am looking for academic papers which show future predictions of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) by considering climate change and the various emission scenarios. Do you have any suggestions?
test's user avatar
  • 105
8 votes
1 answer
240 views

How much could Earth's temperature increase by the time we run out of oil reserves?

According to this article How long will world's oil reserves last?: At the current rate of extraction oil reserves will last 53 years. And according to this another article, Global temperature - ...
Pablo's user avatar
  • 1,137
8 votes
1 answer
870 views

Are we now and/or have we been in the RCP8.5 scenario?

Is it generally understood that we (globally) have been living in an RCP8.5 scenario over the past 7-8 years? Such that a predictive climate model using RCP8.5 assumptions that was run circa 2011 can ...
WatcherOfAll's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

How is climate change today different than the climate change that ended the ice age(s)?

Someone I know posted a question about climate change that I do not know how to answer. While I do believe (for lack of better word) in climate change, I do not know how to answer this persons ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
150 views

What amount of permafrost carbon release could be expected with the IPCC worse-prediction of a 4.8C temperature rise?

As answered in my earlier question How much methane clathrates are buried in continental deposits?, there is alot of methane trapped in the form of clathrates in continental deposits. Additionally, ...
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