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.


Building Sustainable Energy Access, from the Outside In
How much energy access in poor places can come from off and on the grid -- and with or without big greenhouse-gas contributions?... READ MORE
Seabed feeding frenzy proves dead jellyfish get eaten
Time-lapse imagery of scavengers tucking in proves that dead jellyfish aren't unpalatable after all, so can return nutrients to the sea's food webs... READ MORE
Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather ... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #44A
A chronicler of warnings denied Arctic Ice Melt Seen Doubling Risk of Harsh Winter in EU Building for the next big storm Carbon trading edges closer as UN brokers deal Five things to know about 2014... READ MORE
Plan to save Great Barrier Reef doomed to failure
The only targets set by the Australian government's plan to maintain the Great Barrier Reef are impossible to meet. It's doomed to fail say leading scientists... READ MORE
How Unscientific Ebola Steps in U.S. Could Help Spread Virus Elsewhere
How hyper-reactive quarantine steps in the United States could worsen the Ebola epidemic in Africa -- and perhaps beyond.... READ MORE
Republican politicians aren't climate scientists or responsible leaders
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to become the Senate Majority Leader after the forthcoming election on November 4th, although despite hailing from conservative Kentucky, Mc... READ MORE
UK to build world's biggest weather supercomputer
A 140-tonne supercomputer won't just assess the impact of climate change on weather systems – it will tell you how sunny it will be next weekend too... READ MORE
Arctic melt means more severe winters likely - for now
The vanishing Arctic ice is making extremely cold Eurasian winters more likely, but the trend won't last and warming will eventually take over... READ MORE
How do trees change the climate?
Guest commentary from Abby Swann (U. Washington) This past month, an op-ed by Nadine Unger appeared in the New York Times with the headline “To save the climate, don’t plant trees”.  The autho... READ MORE
The role of the ocean in tempering global surface warming
This is a re-post of an article by Richard Allan for NOAA It is well known that the surface has warmed over the past few decades, primarily in response to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. EN... READ MORE
Two Years After Sandy’s Surge, New York City Shifts Toward a Softer Relationship with the Sea
Two years after Sandy swamped parts of New York City, a vision emerges for a mix of hard and soft landscape changes reflecting the reality of rising seas.... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly Digest #43
SkS Highlights John Abraham's Another global warming contrarian paper found to be unrealistic and inaccurate garnered the most comments of the srticles posted on SkS during the past week. If... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43B
Recently discovered microbe is key player in climate change Researchers resolve the Karakoram glacier anomaly Recently discovered microbe is key player in climate change As permafrost soils thaw u... READ MORE
Why Americans Should Fear Fear of Ebola More than the Virus
Two vital efforts to tamp down unfounded fears of Ebola contagion.... READ MORE
Another Round on Energy Rebound
Two analysts of energy trends expand on their view that efficiency's climate and energy benefits have been overstated.... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43A
Amazon deforestation picking up pace, satellite data reveals An in-depth look at the oceans, climate change and the hiatus Citing rising seas, Florida officials vote to cut state in half Climate rec... READ MORE
EU emissions target isn't as ambitious as it seems
The European Union's agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 sounds impressive, but we're halfway to that already... READ MORE
Can Genetics and Breeding Do for Cassava What They’ve Done For Corn?
Bill Gates explores non-GMO genetic research boosting corn and cassava yields.... READ MORE
2014 Arctic sea ice extent - 6th lowest in millennia
The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or th... READ MORE