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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Define global climate change
  • Summarize the effects of the Industrial Revolution on global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration
  • Describe three natural factors affecting long-term global climate
  • List two or more greenhouse gases and describe their role in the greenhouse effect

All biomes are universally affected by global conditions, such as climate, that ultimately shape each biome’s environment. Scientists who study climate have noted a series of marked changes that have gradually become increasingly evident during the last sixty years. Global climate change is the term used to describe altered global weather patterns, including a worldwide increase in temperature, due largely to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Climate and weather

A common misconception about global climate change is that a specific weather event occurring in a particular region (for example, a very cool week in June in central Indiana) is evidence of global climate change. However, a cold week in June is a weather-related event and not a climate-related one. These misconceptions often arise because of confusion over the terms climate and weather.

Climate refers to the long-term, predictable atmospheric conditions of a specific area. The climate of a biome is characterized by having consistent temperature and annual rainfall ranges. Climate does not address the amount of rain that fell on one particular day in a biome or the colder-than-average temperatures that occurred on one day. In contrast, weather    refers to the conditions of the atmosphere during a short period of time. Weather forecasts are usually made for 48-hour cycles. Long-range weather forecasts are available but can be unreliable.

To better understand the difference between climate and weather, imagine that you are planning an outdoor event in northern Wisconsin. You would be thinking about climate when you plan the event in the summer rather than the winter because you have long-term knowledge that any given Saturday in the months of May to August would be a better choice for an outdoor event in Wisconsin than any given Saturday in January. However, you cannot determine the specific day that the event should be held on because it is difficult to accurately predict the weather on a specific day. Climate can be considered “average” weather.

Global climate change

Climate change can be understood by approaching three areas of study:

  • current and past global climate change
  • causes of past and present-day global climate change
  • ancient and current results of climate change

It is helpful to keep these three different aspects of climate change clearly separated when consuming media reports about global climate change. It is common for reports and discussions about global climate change to confuse the data showing that Earth’s climate is changing with the factors that drive this climate change.

Evidence for global climate change

Since scientists cannot go back in time to directly measure climatic variables, such as average temperature and precipitation, they must instead indirectly measure temperature. To do this, scientists rely on historical evidence of Earth’s past climate.

Questions & Answers

the study of living organisms
Dorcas Reply
what is body symmetry
Elizabeth Reply
What is the instrument used for measuring water potential?
Agyeiwaa Reply
tensiometers
osometer
MP
difference between food chain and food web
tunz Reply
is the study of living
Cabdi Reply
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HAMIDAH
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Cabdi
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Cabdi
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HAMIDAH
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Cabdi
aha
HAMIDAH
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Cabdi
what is biology
Sandra Reply
Biology is the natural science that studies life n living organisms which include physical structures, chemical processes, molecular interaction, physiological mechanisms, evolution n development
HAMIDAH
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tunz
tru
Cabdi
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Cabdi
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tunz
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Cabdi
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Nikolas
main branch re botany, zoology n micro biology
HAMIDAH
1.Biochemistry 2.Biophysics 3.Biotechnology 4.Botany 5.Cell biology 6.Ecology
Peace
Main branch of biology are,zoology, botany and microbiology
Agyeiwaa
the period of cell growth between nuclear division
AAYAT Reply
what is synapsis
Edward Reply
the fusion of chromosomes at yhe the beginning of meiosis
Hassan
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Regina Reply
is the inheritance of the living organisms
Sarah
am I right?
Sarah
is the variation and inheritance of living organism
Raymond
genetic is define as the scientific study of heredity and variation in living things
HAMIDAH
give all the characteristics of an enzyme
Davies Reply
it alters the rate of chemical reaction
tunz
-some require coenzymes -they re inhibited by inhibitors -they re required in minute amount -they speed up the rate of chemical reaction
HAMIDAH
hi Hamida, may I ask how do you study bio?
al
thanks
al
what is the difference between meiosi and
Glory Reply
TCRs. in full. and was it all about .Tell me about all of immunity.
KIIZA Reply
why is it that, when using light microscope for viewing the red blood cell is not distinguishable
Samuel Reply
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Glory Reply
what is a cell
Innocent Reply
basic unit of life
Adoma
smallest unit of living things
Nicholas
cell is a basic unit of life
Senamile
the fundamental and structural unit of a living organism
angelina

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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