Everything you need to know about global warming

24 Cards

CURATED BY Brad Plumer

2014-09-22 18:51:32 -0400

  1. What is global warming?
  2. Is global warming the same thing as climate change?
  3. How do we know global warming is really happening?
  4. How do we know humans are responsible for global warming?
  5. Where do greenhouse-gas emissions come from?
  6. How has global warming affected the world so far?
  7. How high will temperatures rise if global warming continues?
  8. What impacts will global warming have in the future?
  9. What is sea-level rise?
  10. What is ocean acidification?
  11. Is it dangerous to have more than 2°C of global warming?
  12. What happens if the world heats up more drastically — say, 4°C?
  13. How much could global warming cost the economy?
  14. How do we stop global warming?
  15. How do we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions?
  16. Can't we just adapt to global warming?
  17. What are the UN climate talks?
  18. What is geoengineering?
  19. Did climate change cause today’s awful weather?
  20. What is climate skepticism?
  21. It’s cold outside! Does that disprove global warming?
  22. Hasn't global warming slowed down in the last 15 years?
  23. You didn't answer my question!
  24. What else should I be reading about global warming?
  1. Card 1 of 24

    What is global warming?

  2. Card 2 of 24

    Is global warming the same thing as climate change?

  3. Card 3 of 24

    How do we know global warming is really happening?

  4. Card 4 of 24

    How do we know humans are responsible for global warming?

  5. Card 5 of 24

    Where do greenhouse-gas emissions come from?

  6. Card 6 of 24

    How has global warming affected the world so far?

  7. Card 7 of 24

    How high will temperatures rise if global warming continues?

  8. Card 8 of 24

    What impacts will global warming have in the future?

  9. Card 9 of 24

    What is sea-level rise?

  10. Card 10 of 24

    What is ocean acidification?

  11. Card 11 of 24

    Is it dangerous to have more than 2°C of global warming?

  12. Card 12 of 24

    What happens if the world heats up more drastically — say, 4°C?

  13. Card 13 of 24

    How much could global warming cost the economy?

  14. Card 14 of 24

    How do we stop global warming?

  15. Card 15 of 24

    How do we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions?

  16. Card 16 of 24

    Can't we just adapt to global warming?

  17. Card 17 of 24

    What are the UN climate talks?

  18. Card 18 of 24

    What is geoengineering?

    Geoengineering, in a climate context, means trying to halt or mitigate global warming through means other than reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. It comes in two basic flavors:

    Taking carbon out of the atmosphere: The first approach would entail sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. We could do that by planting more trees (although there's only so much land). We could try to fertilize the ocean with iron to promote the growth of plankton, which absorb carbon-dioxide. Or someone could invent a machine to scoop up the carbon directly. None of those are easy.

    Blocking the sun: The second type of geoengineering, known as solar-radiation management, is far more controversial. This would entail cooling the Earth directly by reducing the amount of solar energy that reaches us. Blocking the sun, in other words. We could put fine particles or liquid droplets into the air to reflect incoming sunlight back into space. Or we could try to increase the reflectivity of clouds by, say, spraying seawater into the atmosphere.

    The upside of solar-radiation management is that it's fairly cheap and could potentially avert some of the worst impacts of global warming, such as sea-level rise. See this interview with Harvard climate scientist David Keith, who argues that geoengineering could be a complement to emissions cuts.

    The downsides are that this type of geoengineering could have lots of unpredictable side effects, like screwing up global rainfall patterns. Geoengineering would also be difficult to coordinate among various countries — there'd be a great deal of disagreement over who sets the thermostat. And geoengineering does little to address other impacts of rising carbon-dioxide emissions, such as ocean acidification.

  19. Card 19 of 24

    Did climate change cause today’s awful weather?

  20. Card 20 of 24

    What is climate skepticism?

  21. Card 21 of 24

    It’s cold outside! Does that disprove global warming?

  22. Card 22 of 24

    Hasn't global warming slowed down in the last 15 years?

  23. Card 23 of 24

    You didn't answer my question!

  24. Card 24 of 24

    What else should I be reading about global warming?

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