Following the publication of the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some commentators zeroed in on a short paragraph in the Summary for Policymakers. This brief section lays out a “carbon budget,” defined as the precise quantity of carbon dioxide that humans can emit and still limit warming to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.
Climate change creates new uncertainties about the spread of diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever, malaria, and Lyme disease. These illnesses are transmitted by insects known as vectors, including mosquitoes, ticks, and flies.
Wildfire season has gotten almost 20 percent longer over the past 35 years worldwide as a result of rising global temperatures and fewer rainy days.
Rising food prices are dependent on many factors, including population, income, and availability of supply. This last factor is particularly affected by climate change. Climate disruption is already affecting prices for food and crops through impacts including changes in growing seasons, increasing extreme weather, rising sea levels, pest movement, and warming oceans
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a large-scale ocean-atmosphere interaction in the tropical Pacific Ocean. ENSO consists of oscillations between a warm phase (El Niño) and a cool phase (La Niña).
One thing scientists are still working to figure out is exactly how much warming each ton of CO2 causes. This is called the climate’s “sensitivity” to CO2.
It has fallen upon climate scientists to develop the technical sophistication and to employ the research methods necessary to understand climate variables, how they change across time and space, and the degree of human-caused climate disruption.