Ten climate change Frequently Asked Questions, answered by
EARTH: The Operators’ Manual program host, Richard Alley.
Many of the scientific terms used here are defined in the Glossary.

Global Warming & Ice Sheets 

RiCHARD ALLEY  Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University 

The United States National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC), and numerous leading professional societies such as the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Board of Directors have confirmed the strong scientific evidence that:

 → human activities (especially the burning of fossil fuels) are changing the
     composition of the atmosphere;

→ this is contributing to warming and other climate changes;

→ the changes so far are small compared to those expected under business as usual;

impacts of the climate changes on economies and ecosystems will be significant; and 

options exist to avoid or slow down the changes (mitigation), and to reduce the harm  
    and take advantage of the opportunities from the changes that occur (adaptation).   

Here, in question-and-answer format, is a synopsis of some of the relevant science, with special attention to ice sheets.

*Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Pennsylvania State University, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Research Council, or other organizations.


Darren Aronofsky on Floods, Fanaticism, the Big Bang, Warming and More
The director of "Noah" and other films about obsession explores his views of global warming, fanaticism and the uncomfortable intersection of religion and science.... READ MORE
A Deeper Look at a Study Finding High Leak Rates From Gas Drilling
A closer look at a hot study on high gas leak rates in Pennsylvania's fracking zone raises coal questions.... READ MORE
The story of climate change gets star treatment
To engage the public, Years of Living Dangerously and Sand Wars take different approaches, one is a Hollywood behemoth, the other is shrewd and assailing... READ MORE
Virtual Earth plays out fate of life on the planet
The first computer model to simulate the interaction of life on Earth allows us to see how an infinite number of ecosystem changes affect the environment... READ MORE
Beneath the Surface of China’s Great Urban Rush
Can China's urbanization push sidestep the Western pattern of pollution and sprawl, and can it consider the rights of displaced citizens?... READ MORE
No Time to Waste: Students Pursue Environmental Progress Instead of Exam Grades
College students get out of the classroom and pursue environmental initiatives with partners in surrounding communities.... READ MORE
Climate dollars and sense – preventing global warming is the cheap option
The IPCC has now released all three of the reports that comprise its 2014 Fifth Assessment of climate science. The first report tackled the physical changes in the global climate, while the second add... READ MORE
Mississippi dams aren't to blame for flood risks
Dams on the Mississippi river aren't swallowing the sandy sediment needed to build up the river's delta and protect nearby cities from flooding... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly Digest #16
SkS Highlights Peter Hatfield's video, The consequences of climate change (in our lifetimes), introduced by Rob Honeycutt, drew the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Da... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #16
6 things you need to know about reducing emissions Climate change and desertification a threat to social stability Climate concerns in a time of growing ‘climate fatigue’? Costs of clima... READ MORE
Global warming can't be blamed on CFCs – another one bites the dust
A paper published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B by the University of Waterloo's Qing-Bin Lu last year claimed that solar activity and human chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions, not c... READ MORE
The story of climate change gets star treatment
To engage the public, Years of Living Dangerously and Sand Wars take different approaches, one is a Hollywood behemoth, the other is shrewd and assailing... READ MORE
Mitigation of Climate Change – Part 3 of the new IPCC report
      Guest post by Brigitte Knopf             Global emissions continue to rise further and this is in the first place due to economic growth and to a l... READ MORE
A Risk Analyst Explains Why Climate Change Risk Misperception Doesn’t Necessarily Matter
A longtime analyst of risk misperception says leaders can't wait for the public to "get" global warming.... READ MORE
Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false.
This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discove... READ MORE
2014 SkS News Bulletin #3: IPCC Report (WG III)
Averting catastrophe is eminently affordable Climate experts sound the alarm Climate protection a 'task that can be solved' Climate report finds UN emissions target not out of reach IPCC report summ... READ MORE
A Green Group Sees Hope in ‘The End of China’s Coal Boom’
Greenpeace sees growing signs that China is heading toward peak coal, putting climate targets within sight.... READ MORE
What climate change has done to Walden's woods
A hymn to citizen science, Walden Warming by Richard Primack seeks the reality of climate change in the effects that ordinary people have recorded... READ MORE
White House Pressed to Protect Ailing Monarch Butterflies
The White House is sent a fresh pitch for a push to restore monarch butterfly habitat and food on public and private lands.... READ MORE
German energy crisis points towards climate solution
Europe's powerhouse is leading the fight against climate change, but its push for renewables has left it burning ever more coal... READ MORE