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 Chat on the Clash of Meteorology and Politics Behind Texas’s Flood Dangers
A closer look at the clash of political and meteorological forces behind Texas's flood dangers... READ MORE
Sea level is rising fast – and it seems to be speeding up
This is a re-post from The Converstation by Christopher Watson, University of Tasmania; John Church, CSIRO, and Matt King, University of Tasmania Many observations have shown that sea level ... READ MORE
2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #22A
America’s future has wind in its sails China's CO2 emissions have been plummeting lately. What's going on? Climate change denial is a threat to national security Climate impacts leave rai... READ MORE
A Scientist who Modeled Texas’s Blanco River in 2007 Probes for Lessons After the Deadly Flash Flood
A hydrologist explores the scientific and societal issues surrounding deadly flooding in the fast-growing exurbs around Austin. Tex.... READ MORE
Wild weather across US and Mexico a sign of El Niño's return
Storms and other extreme weather in Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska could be the first signs that climate's bad boy is back with a vengeance... READ MORE
In Texas, the Race to Build in Harm’s Way Outpaces Flood-Risk Studies and Warming Impacts
In Texas's exurban counties, a population and building boom has outpaced efforts to cut flash-flood risks and dominates any impact so far from climate change.... READ MORE
Making sense of the slowdown in global surface warming
The slowdown in global warming is a subject of intense study. Is it a real physical effect, or a few chance cool years, or something more complex? Could it have been predicted? Can we understand it in... READ MORE
We must put the brakes on glaciers to stop the seas rising
The public may balk at geoengineering, but we've got to think boldly if we're going to protect our coasts, says glaciologist Slawek Tulaczyk... READ MORE
One-Two Punch of Earthquakes and Landslides Exposes Hydropower Vulnerability in Nepal
A pitch for a more resilient and distributed electricity supply in quake-prone Nepal.... READ MORE
North American ragweed to bring autumn allergy misery to Europe
Ragweed pollen is the bane of many lives in the US, and climate change could help the plant become much more common in Europe by 2050... READ MORE
Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK
It's a funny thing. One of the most viral news items concerning the UK General Election on May 7th 2015 came from my constituency of Montgomeryshire. Apparently, someone took the time and trouble... READ MORE
Methane apocalypse? Defusing the Arctic's time bomb
Do the huge craters pockmarking Siberia herald a release of underground methane that could exceed our worst climate change fears?... READ MORE
2015 SkS Weekly Digest #21
SkS Highlights Why the 97 per cent consensus on climate change still gets challenged by Andy Skuce garnered the highest number of comments of the artilces posted on SkS during the past ... READ MORE
2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21B
25 newspapers team up to bring attention to climate change Bad news keeps flowing from Antarctica Congress manufactures doubt and denial in climate change hearing Cutting warming to 1.5°C could ... READ MORE
The R&B Star Akon and an Emirates Foundation Invest in a Solar Energy Work Force for Africa
A hip-hop star, Akon, and a young solar-technology instructor visit the U.N. to show how they are lighting up Africa.... READ MORE
Seeds of Time - preserving food resources in a hot future climate
So often, we talk about “proving” climate change is happening, or articulating changes we expect in the future from increased extreme weather. We should also talk about adaptation - how ca... READ MORE
These sparkly sea organisms are an eerie omen of climate change
A bloom of bioluminescent plankton has wowed crowds along a river in Southern Tasmania this week, but it could be a warning sign of climate change... READ MORE
Hotspot Found Again: Warming of the Tropical Troposphere Confirms Climate Model Prediction
Key Points: As the Earth warms, the lower atmosphere (troposphere) in the tropics is expected to warm at a faster rate than at the surface. The development of this so-called 'hotspot' is an expe... READ MORE
2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #21A
California joins other states, provinces in climate change agreement Climate change threatens electric power supply in California, report warns FactCheck: Are 95% of models linking human CO₂ emiss... READ MORE
2 ºC warming goal shaky as governments throw cash at fossil fuel
Shell is said to be preparing for a 4 °C warmer world future, while governments keep subsidising fossil fuels with $5.3 trillion a year globally... READ MORE