1. News & Issues
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Global Warming Facts and Evidence

By

Global Warming Facts and Evidence

Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Physical evidence of global warming is widespread and startlingly significant.

The respected National Geographic Society summarizes evidence of global warming, which includes:

  • "Average (Earth) temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

  • "The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies.

    And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.

  • "Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.

  • "Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910.

  • " An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts."
SOURCE - National Geographic News: Global Warming Fast Facts

Also read President Obama's Speech at U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Global Warming Evidence: Scientific Resources

The following are a few of the scientific organizations that catalog extensive evidence of global warming:

U.S. Global Change Research Program
"Supports research on the interactions of natural and human-induced changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was codified by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606)...

"Since its inception, USGCRP-supported research and observational activities... have:

  • documented and characterized important aspects of the sources, abundances, and lifetimes of greenhouse gases;
  • mounted extensive space-based systems for global monitoring of climate and ecosystem parameters;
  • begun to address the complex issues of various aerosol species that may significantly influence climate parameters;
  • advanced understanding of the global water and carbon cycles;
  • taken major strides in computer modeling of the global climate."
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration("NOAA")
The National Climatic Data Center of the NOAA "contains the instrumental and paleoclimatic records that can precisely define the nature of climatic fluctuations at time scales of a century and longer.

"Among the diverse kinds of data platforms whose data contribute to NCDC's resources are:

  • Ships,
  • buoys,
  • weather stations,
  • weather balloons,
  • satellites,
  • radar and
  • many climate proxy records such as tree rings and ice cores."
"The National Oceanographic Data Center contains the subsurface ocean data which reveal the ways that heat is distributed and redistributed over the planet. Knowing how these systems are changing and how they have changed in the past is crucial to understanding how they will change in the future."

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme ("AMAP")
"The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme is one of five Working Groups of the Arctic Council. "The primary function of AMAP is to advise the governments of the eight Arctic countries (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) on matters relating to threats to the Arctic region... "

Founded jointly in 1991 by the eight countries, AMAP's major reports include its Arctic Climate Impact Assessment: Impacts of a Warming Arctic.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ("IPCC")
Established as a scientific body by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, the IPCC's "role is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation."

The IPCC was jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore for "their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

The IPCC has issued many in-depth reports documenting global warming evidence, including four universal assessment reports and:

The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report will be finalized in 2014.

See other quick-reading articles in this series:

Also read President Obama's Speech at U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.