Climate Change

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Retreating calving front of the Jacobshavn Isbrae glacier in Greenland from 1851 - 2006. NASA in 2007.

The Earth's climate, changes in pasterns (moderate shifts in the mean values of the variables) are normal and expected. Earth's climate is a dynamic system, full of complicated processes that lead to chaotic variations, changes to external forcing of the system can lead to significant changes.

Usually we think of trends in global average quantities (especially surface temperature) as indicative of climate change. But when the trend leads to a change larger than the natural variability, a statistically significant change most certainly has occurred. Reasons for this recent shift in the general pattern have been mostly stated as being the result of actions of the human species on the planet and solar variation.

This Wikibook will cover most of the normal implications of climate changes but will focus on the recent medium to long term effects on the above normal changes, normally but also confusingly labeled global warming. If you care to share your knowledge of this topic, please contribute.

Although this book is still in a very preliminary state, we seem to be moving toward a cohesive structure. The book is really two parts: first, a primer on the science of climate change, and second, a study of societal implications of climate change. The first part deals with much more concrete, physically based principles. As such, it can be developed more easily. The second part is potentially more controversial, but not necessarily so; for the early stages of development, the second part should probably be limited to generalities and external links.

Note:
Climate Change refers to the changing of weather patterns relative to location, time and to an increase in previously fringe events, this is sometimes generally referred to as "Global Warming". Global Warming is the warming of the globe (world) in median terms (it does not require that its always hot but that the median of hight temperatures is risings) and it is one of the evidences of climate change.

Table of Contents[edit]

Appendices[edit]

Tools and applications[edit]

  • Flood Maps (http://flood.firetree.net/) interesting demonstration, using Google’s mapping API and raw data from NASA, to generate a visualization of the impact of sea level rising due to climate change.