Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate. There is great debate among many people, and sometimes in the news, on whether global warming is real (some call it a hoax). But climate scientists looking at the data and facts agree the planet is warming.
While many view the effects of global warming to be more substantial and more rapidly occurring than others do, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is that the average temperature of the Earth has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over the past 100 years. The increased volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities, are believed to be the primary sources of the global warming that has occurred over the past 50 years.
Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global warming research have recently predicted that average global temperatures could increase between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100. Changes resulting from global warming may include rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps, as well as an increase in occurrence and severity of storms and other severe weather events.
Even in an age when climate change is making the outliers normal, what's happening in the Arctic stands out for just how outlandish it is. In the depths of the polar night, in mid-October, sea-ice growth slowed to a crawl and even started to decline.
Santa may need to take off some of his jolly layers this Christmas: The North Pole — the northernmost point on the globe (where Mr. Claus lives) — is more than 36 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it has been in past decades, a new report finds.
The space agency, whose satellites and scientists have been instrumental in studying our changing planet, is working with officials in New York City and Rio de Janeiro to "share insights and solutions against specific climate risk."