Everything you need to know about global warming

24 Cards

CURATED BY Brad Plumer

2014-05-29 20:22:52 -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?

    The world is getting hotter, and humans are responsible. That's the short version.

    When people say global warming, they're typically talking about the rise in average temperature of the Earth's climate system since the late 19th century. Temperatures over the land and ocean have gone up roughly 0.8° Celsius (or 1.4° Fahrenheit) in that span. Some places have warmed more, some less. But that's the worldwide average:

    Nasa_global_land-ocean_temperature_medium

    NASA

    The consensus among climate scientists is that this recent temperature increase has been driven primarily by the extra greenhouse gases that humans have put into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat at the Earth's surface, preventing that heat from escaping back out into space too quickly. So when we burn coal or oil for energy or cut down forests and add even more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, the planet warms up.

    Global warming also refers to what scientists think will happen in the future if humans keep adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. A 2013 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that temperatures could rise at least 2°C by the end of the century under many plausible scenarios — and possibly 4°C or more.

    A 4-degree rise is considered a drastic shift. Many experts and politicians consider even 2°C (or 3.6°F) of global warming to be "dangerous," increasing the risk of deadly heat waves, droughts, flooding, and extinctions. Rising temperatures will drive up global sea levels as the world's glaciers and ice sheets melt. Further global warming could affect everything from our ability to grow food to the spread of disease.

  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?

  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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