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.
CLICK FOR FAQ1

*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.

UPDATE OF THE WEEK

A Optimistic Realist Tours Earth’s Age of Humans
A lyrical nature writer explains her optimistic view of the deepening human imprint on the Earth.... READ MORE
Loss of Arctic sea ice to doom polar bears by 2075
Starving adult bears could struggle to raise any cubs by the end of this century in their current stronghold in the Canadian Arctic... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate chan... READ MORE
The latest global warming bill and the Republican conundrum
Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced a climate bill in the US Senate last week. The American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act proposes to tax carbon pollution at the source ... READ MORE
Robot subs find Antarctic sea ice thicker than expected
Antarctic sea ice might be three times as thick as we thought, according to data that may help narrow down one of the biggest uncertainties in the global climate system... READ MORE
Will New Climate Treaty Be a Thriller, or Shaggy Dog Story?
The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, ... READ MORE
Total white out: Snowshoe hares vs global warming
Removing their white winter coat once kept snowshoe hares hidden in spring, but as the snows melt earlier, they are increasingly exposed. Can they fight back?... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Co... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fu... READ MORE
It’s Time for Obama to Tighten Rules on Gas Leaks
An array of environmental groups have endorsed ways the Obama administration can cost-effectively cut leaks of methane from gas and oil facilities.... READ MORE
Making the Most of Puberty on the Scale of a Planet
Access to education and jobs can make the world's huge youth population an asset.... READ MORE
Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global ... READ MORE
NASA CO2 Animation Recalls 1859 Account of the Global Flow of this Gas
A new NASA visualization and an 1859 account by America's first oceanographer make the same point about carbon dioxide.... READ MORE
2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do mo... READ MORE
US and China's emission cuts may not be enough
Pledges made last week won't keep global warming below the 2 °C limit. But adopting best practices could allow the US and China to go beyond those promises... READ MORE
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Says Fast-Growing Nations Have Role in Curbing Warming
The prime minister of gas-rich Malaysia sees a climate-friendly path ahead.... READ MORE
Turbulent week for global climate policy leaves many questions
They came, they saw, they cuddled koalas and world leaders then largely ignored the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s instructions to ignore the global, intergenerational and morally chall... READ MORE
Green fund pledges at G20 may herald climate consensus
The Green Climate Fund to help poor nations adapt to climate change may reach its initial target of $10 billion by this week's deadline... READ MORE
President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge
What a change a few years makes. For those of us concerned about climate change, seven years ago marked a low-point. It was a time where no meaningful actions had been taken to reduce carbon pollution... READ MORE
Peru Prepares to Host Climate Talks as its Indigenous Forest Defenders Die
The resource rush on Peru's Amazon frontier is exacting a rising toll on indigenous communities, a rights group warns.... READ MORE