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Additional Information on Global Climate Change
Many web sites offer explanations of global climate change. The following provide explanations at varying levels of detail. Note that website materials and publications prepared prior to 2007 may not be updated to include the most recent 2007 IPCC assessment.
Comprehensive reports on climate change
- Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policy Makers (pdf). An 18-page report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I summarizing its latest comprehensive assessment of observed and projected global climate change. The Fourth Assessment Report builds upon past IPCC assessments and incorporates new knowledge gained since the Third Assessment in 2001. Final language in the Summary for Policy Makers was approved, line-by-line, by consensus with scientists and government representatives from 113 countries. See the Technical Summary (pdf) and Foundation Report for more information.
- U.S. National Academy of Sciences Report: Climate Science: An Analysis of Key Questions. This report, requested by the Bush Administration, summarized science's current understanding (as of publication in 2001) of global climate change by characterizing the global warming trend over the last 100 years, and examining what may be in store for the 21st century and the extent to which warming may be attributable to human activity.
Comprehensive sites with lots of information and links:
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth Observatory. Provides information on global warming, what it is, evidence for global warming, building a climate model, predicting future warming, and potential effects of global warming. See also NASA's comprehensive list of global warming and climate change policy websites.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Provides a general overview of the climate change science and policy, greenhouse gas emissions, health and environmental effects, and strategies for reducing individual greenhouse gas contributions. Also includes a comprehensive database of 250 climate change related web sites and a climate change web site for kids.
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Provides provides basic information on the greenhouse effect and the carbon cycle, current evidence of climate change, future climate change impacts, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Information also available in Spanish.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): The Paleo Perspective on Climate Change. Provides information on climate change, how scientists study climate change, and how tree rings, ice cores, and other natural recorders of historic climate are used to gain better understanding of Earth’s climate. Site also available in Spanish.
- Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Provides a variety of “Global Warming 101” summaries on global warming science and impacts. Also includes links to several regional and state-specific impacts assessments.
- The Pew Center. Provides information on climate change with links to a variety of fact sheets, "frequently asked questions" pages, and published reports. Includes a climate change web site for kids.
- Encyclopedia of the Earth. Web site created by the National Council for Science and the Environment featuring a fully searchable collection of articles written in non-technical language by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other’s work. The scope of the Encyclopedia is the environment broadly defined, with particular emphasis on the interaction between society and the natural spheres of the Earth. The site is a specially adapted “wiki” where access is restricted to approved experts and all content is reviewed and approved by Topic Editors prior to being published from the wiki to public Encyclopedia.
- Real Climate. Web blog for fairly technical discussions by prominent climate scientists of recent peer-reviewed journal articles, general media articles on climate, and other "hot topics".
"Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) links
- IPCC FAQs
- NOAA National Climate Data Center
- NCAR Climate and Global Dynamics FAQs
- UCAR Global Warming FAQs
- The Pew Center Science FAQs
- UCS Global Warming FAQs
Other Reports of Note
- Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. A major review of the economics of climate change written by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service and Adviser to the UK Government on the economics of climate change and development. Published 2006.
- National Security and the Threat of Climate Change. A report written by eleven retired three- and four-star admirals and generals, representing all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces evaluating the likely effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, increased desertification and availability of critical resources such as food, water and energy, and how those changes could trigger conflicts around the globe. Published 2007.
- World in Transition – Climate Change as a Security Risk . A report written by the German Advisory Council on Global Change on the threats of climate change to international political stability. Published January 2008.
Additional Information on Climate Impacts
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsors place-based research on the regional impacts of climate variability and climate change in the U.S. The CIG is one of these teams; see NOAA's Regional Integrated Scientific Assessment (RISA) site for information about impacts elsewhere in the country.