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Just what is global warming?

  •  The exaggerated and accelerated response of radiation absorbing or heat (long wave radiation) trapping gases in the air that retain solar and thermal radiation thereby increasing the temperatures of the surroundings. Increased temperatures can speed up chemical processes essential to living things.
  •  A destabilizing of the inherent thermal insulating capacity of the Earth's atmosphere, seas and vegetation -- as a systemic whole -- by the combustion of fossil fuels in amounts that exceed the assimilative capacity of the air to redistribute pollutants, particulates and thermal radiation.
  •  A premature intensification in the natural patterns of cooling and warming on the earth's surface as it affects the oceans, air, ice and weather patterns around the world creating erratic storms, droughts, fires and flooding.
  • Called climate change by scientists, the public understands global warming to mean the same thing with respect to consequences of weather and climate changes due to pollution from industrial emissions, deforestation and poor farming practices.

More on Global Climate Change

Earth"Currently interest in sea level change has been stimulated by concern over potential global warming. The earth's average surface temperature has risen approximately 0.6 C (1 F) in the last century...."

"The is a one percent chance that global warming will raise sea level one meter in the next hundred years and four meters in the next two hundred years."

"...Sea level along much of the United States coast has already risen 2.5 to 3.0 millimeters per year (10 to 12 inches per century)."

"Stabilizing emissions of greenhouse gasses by the year 2025 could cut the rate of sea level rise in half."

Vernberg and Vernberg, The Coastal Zone (Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press, 2001), pp. 128-129.

Sources on climate change and global warming.