Climate Change Series – The basics.

Throughout the upcoming additions of our Fortnightly Update we will be including articles that walk us through the issue of climate change. During a time in which we are starting to consider our world post COVID-19, we have a great opportunity to plan for a world in which we confront the issue of climate change. I would encourage you to take this time to learn and even re-learn the realities of climate change. The more we all know that better we can address these issues.

In this article we will define global warming and climate change and show evidence of global warming.

“Global warming” refers to the long-term warming of the planet. Global temperature shows a well-documented rise since the early 20th century and most notably since the late 1970s.

“Climate change” encompasses global warming, but refers to the broader range of changes that are happening to our planet. These include rising sea levels; shrinking mountain glaciers; accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic; and shifts in flower/plant blooming times.

Both global warming and climate change refer to movements in long term averages.  One cool summer does not mean that global warming is not occurring.

Evidence of global warming:

Average temperature variations are shown in the chart below.  According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), it is likely that 1983–2013 was the warmest 30-year period for 1,400 years.

Source: http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/australia#

Scientists noted that the current rate of change in temperature is not normal and that this might impact our climate. As scientists do, they investigated the changes further, looked for causes and impacts of the changes including links to climate change.

More on that next time.