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?

  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?

    Most of the world's nations have promised to avoid dangerous interference in the Earth's climate system. They've defined that to mean preventing global average temperatures from rising more than 2° Celsius (or 3.6° Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Temperatures have already risen 0.8°C so far.

    This 2°C limit has a long, tangled history. By some accounts it was pushed by a German advisory panel back in the early 1990s, who argued that letting temperatures rise more than 2°C (or 3.6°F) would bring us outside the temperature range that allowed human civilization to flourish in the first place. Subsequent research detailed a range of adverse impacts that would occur if temperatures rose more than 2°C, from increased risks of severe weather to adverse impacts on agriculture.

    Still, by its nature, the 2°C limit is arbitrary. Any single limit would be. Some scientists have noted that we could see a range of significant impacts long before we hit 2°C — coral reefs could start dying, tiny island nations like Tuvalu could get swallowed by the rising seas. Conversely, other impacts, such as declining crop yields in the United States, might not happen until we go above the threshold. Deciding how to weigh all that is a political judgment as much as a scientific one.

    For now, international climate negotiations tend to center around 2°C. At the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, almost every nation in the world agreed to endorse 2°C as an upper limit for allowable global warming. The main dissenters (particularly those island nations) were arguing for an even lower limit.

  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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