The Stern Review: The Science of Climate Change
Anna da Costa
1st December, 2006
The world is warming up. We face ecological, social and economic meltdown, famine, drought, disease and turf wars. For real?
For years, scientists have been grappling with climate model after climate model, trying to fully understand the causes, and predict the progression of what has come to be known as global climatic change. In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provided irrefutable evidence that the overriding cause of climate change is the human-induced increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Ever since, as models have increased in their sophistication and complexity, so the true horrors of what climate change holds for our future have been revealed.
What generates our climate?
‘Climate’, simply described, is the average weather over a certain period of time and space. With recorded surface temperatures today ranging from +58°C to -89°C, Earth’s regional climates are highly variable from equator to poles, and across its latitudes. These great variations are brought about by the uneven fall of the Sun’s parallel rays across the Earth’s curved surface, which heat it more at the equator than at the...
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