Five Things You Need To Know About Climate Change

Posted by Nayyera Haq
September 27, 2013
Pods of Whales Patrol the Ice Edges

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fifth assessment today, and here's what you need to know.

1. Climate change is real.


The evidence is observable, provable, and has been peer-reviewed by scientists around the world.  Today’s IPCC report represents the consensus (i.e. the conservative estimates) of thousands of scientists from over 120 countries.

2. Climate change is happening now. 


Twelve of the hottest 13 years on record have occurred since 2000.  In May of 2013, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere exceeded a concentration of 400 parts per million (ppm) by volume for the first time in millions of years.
3. Humans are the cause. 


The single biggest factor in rapid climate change is the “greenhouse effect.”  Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons are all produced in large amounts by human activity.
4. The worst impacts can only be prevented by our actions.  


The extreme weather that is a result of climate change -- record droughts in the United States and Brazil, uncontrollable flooding in India, Pakistan, and China -- will increase in frequency and the rising sea level and acidification of the oceans will accelerate, unless we are able to change the current trends.

5. These problems cannot be solved by one nation alone. 

Air and water do not respect political boundaries.  An increase in temperature or extreme weather in one country affects the entire globe.  The United States is committed to being a leader on this issue and will partner with other countries to find global solutions to a global problem.

About the Author: Nayyera Haq serves as a Senior Advisor for Public Affairs.



Georg V.
October 2, 2013
Nayyera Haq serves as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change. What he/she states - makes my junior (year 3 primary school) LAUGH... I wonder how much he (or she ?) knows about the Pacific Rim - i.e. 2500 active volcanoes - spewing ashes and nasty gases DAILY on a quota that beats the GLOBAL human-byproduct of pollution of some 2-3 years... And WHAT IMPROVEMENT (percentage) has been achieved by all "contributory quotas" collected from the humble and naive citizen of the world ?
Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
September 30, 2013
I think it is the frequency of the bad weather condition in such a short period of time that is warring people the most. There have been more natural disasters in such a short period of time that have changed peoples minds about climate change and its effects on our future.
Destiny P.
California, USA
October 2, 2013
Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence. They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase. "Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans. However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability. Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally unjustified. "Finally, in attributing warming to man, they fail to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about. It is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going. (See more at: )
Minhaz U.
October 7, 2013
Thanks To Share This Information. I Thinks Climate Change is the very ban for our World . Its Makes High Temperature in the world. So i will forget it
United States
October 6, 2013
Eric J.
New Mexico, USA
October 8, 2013
Well folks, all you need to do is look at a few sat photos of deforestation on the planet to understand that the human species has been in the process of terraforming our world for quite awhile now. Like most other endeavors, it is succeptable to Murphy's law and unintended concequence born of human error, and we expected different results? Is it so shocking that we transform things, exploit resources to create our own reality? Is it any wonder we find ourselves in conflict with nature when so much unresolved conflict exists among people and governments...heck...within governments. I'd like to spend an hour writing a comparitive analysis between the dysfunctional state of play in Congress that has the American public between the rock of default and the hard place of government sequester and shutdown,...and the state of play within the international community that knows it has a problem, but is playing politics with a drop dead - deadline. My reasoning here is that if governments really took climate change to be as much a dire threat to their own national security like they do chemical weapons in the hands of mad dictators, more progress would be made in helping emerging as well as existing industry to find their own solutions to reducing the emmissions and waste they produce....being that governments can require some profits be devoted to research for that end. Let's say there was not a "cash for clunker" program so folks could (if well-off enough), get into a new hybrid Prius...but had called upon auto engine manufacturers to develop hybrid engines for "retro-fit" application...IE; you could get gov. assistance to swap out that old Chevy 350 V6 with a quarter million miles on it with a brand new engine that will do the same job with better MPG's and less emmissions...then you have industry-wide sustainability over a lot of different makes and models...and that will be acording to suply and demand, obviously folks with classic cars would looking at an upgrade as investment. So here I am, driving a 1986 Isuzu Trooper 4x4 (Troopers in general being the "most popular" make and model cash-for-clunker to be crushed into a cube of metal for recycling- on record- during the program's existance). Like I can talk about improving the global climate or something while adding to the problem? Well, needless to say I wasn't happy with it burning a quart of oil every 300 it was time to put a new engine in it as an investment in my personal infrastructure...or scrap it. Well I did my research, and average price of a new 4x4 is right around $40k (US). So replacing the vehicle with one that would do the same job every day was out of the question. Economic reality is that I could fully restore the entire trooper 100% to "like new" for 1/4 of that cost. So I put a new rebuilt engine in it with a new exhaust system, because the trooper with its little 4 cylinder 2.3L carburated "old school" engine it came with stock, gets better gas milage than a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser off the show-room floor when it had 175k on it. I suppose I could say I did my part to lessen my carbon footprint in material ways though I was thinking more about reliable transportation at the time, but I find it odd that I still can't go to a bank and get a loan on the carbon credit I earned planting some 35 thousand pine trees on US Forest Service land back in my youth. (chuckle) Once upon a time folks found an organism that ate oil...and I think if folks do enough research they may find a moss that likes methane and can survive on tundra. Or start planting a massive number of coniferous trees as the tundra melts...and releases enough methane to push global warming into overdrive. If we can't prevent that tipping point where the tundra melts, I think we'll have to get real serious about re-terraforming our planet to restore it to "like new"..or in good road-worthy condition at least,...because we can't exacly afford to go out to the intergalactic dealership and go on down the road driving a new planet. EJ My point here is that there are various ways of improving the environment while improving one's existing infrastructure for a lot less than going out and buying a new car....government just needs to count the ways, and subsidize the means to offer greater incentive in the private sector.
Hamza S.
California, USA
October 11, 2013

While, I am here in US. I am from Pakistan, and I can understand this climate change. Things are getting change rapidly, and everyone is not worried about it. The main reason behind it is our own mistakes, and rapid processes to produce things around the world.

Ross M.
District Of Columbia, USA
October 21, 2013
For me, one of the saddest parts about global warming is how long it took humans to realize that we are the cause. Industrialized nations across the globe continually pump tons and tons of CO2 into the environment on a daily basis, increasing the effects of global warming on our planet. The big question now is, "How can we reverse the effects of global warming and clean up the mess we got ourselves into?" I believe the first step in this is simply opening up the lines of communication among the various countries with the biggest carbon footprints. There needs to be an open, honest discussion about global warming and ideas about what can be done to prevent further damage to our planet, our home. As the article states, it's not just one country that is aiding in the global warming efforts. As cliche as it may sound, it's imperative that all countries stick together to find ways to reduce our effects on our planet.


Latest Stories