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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

what is buttress root?
Dora Reply
Buttress root are wide large root
Iyabo
Buttress root/roots are thick roots that emerge out form the base of a large canopy
Musoke
From the base of a large canopy
Musoke
What is biology
Jiboh Reply
Biology is the study of structure and growth of living things and organisms within their biography
Musoke
compare the mechanism of gaseous exchange in an insect and mammal
World Reply
what are the characteristic of livingthing
Joy Reply
Movement Respiration Nutrition Irritability or sensitivity Growth Excretion Reproduction Adaptation Competition Death or Life Span
Emmanuel
Respiration Irritability Movement Excretion Nutrition Growth Reproduction
Amponsah
what is the function of medulla oblongata
mbalenhle Reply
what is the strongest bone in the human body
Chionye
what is biology
Dauda Reply
is a branch of science which deals with the study of living thing
sheka
thanks
Dauda
Biology is got from two main words: bios: means life and Logos: means knowledge therefore, biology is a branch of science that deals with knowledge, life and functioning of living things.
Musoke
what are the characteristics of organism
Seldam
Responds to stimuli
Musoke
Biology is an aspect of science that deals with the. study of living organisms
Amponsah
how do we draw a genetic diagram?
Clive Reply
Branches of variation
Mariama Reply
What is variation
Mariama Reply
this is the difference among different species
joe
natural selection was done by who
Faith Reply
by Charles Darwin
Godson
Charles Darwin
Charity
who proposed Cell doctrine
ANJOUS-YINKA Reply
biology introduction
Khab Reply
describe how the gurd cells regulate the movement of gases in and out of a leaf.
Tony
state the main functions of the leaf
kalisto Reply
what is the similarity between meiosis and mitosis
kalisto
meiosis-involves the division of sex cells mitosis-involves the division of body cells
ANGULA
ok
Osikhena
Regulation of blood sugar level
Kyara Reply
Describes larmack theory
Mayiik Reply
Mention five modes of nutrition in ecology
Mayiik
Saprophytic
Evans
commercialism mutualism saprophytic parasitic simboitism
Osikhena

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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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