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Global Warming
Global warming is the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system
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Representative Concentration Pathways
Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are four greenhouse gas concentration (not emissions) trajectories adopted by the IPCC for its fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in 2014. It supersedes Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) projections published in 2000. The pathways are used for climate modeling and research. They describe four possible climate futures, all of which are considered possible depending on how much greenhouse gases are emitted in the years to come
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Local Regression
LOESS (/ˈlɛs/) and LOWESS (locally weighted scatterplot smoothing) are two strongly related non-parametric regression methods that combine multiple regression models in a k-nearest-neighbor-based meta-model. "LOESS" is a later generalization of LOWESS; although it is not a true acronym, it may be understood as standing for "LOcal regrESSion". LOESS and LOWESS thus build on "classical" methods, such as linear and nonlinear least squares regression. They address situations in which the classical procedures do not perform well or cannot be effectively applied without undue labor. LOESS combines much of the simplicity of linear least squares regression with the flexibility of nonlinear regression. It does this by fitting simple models to localized subsets of the data to build up a function that describes the deterministic part of the variation in the data, point by point
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Troposphere
The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, and is also where nearly all weather conditions take place. It contains approximately 75% of the atmosphere's mass and 99% of the total mass of water vapor and aerosols. The average depths of the troposphere are 20 km (12 mi) in the tropics, 17 km (11 mi) in the mid latitudes, and 7 km (4.3 mi) in the polar regions in winter. The lowest part of the troposphere, where friction with the Earth's surface influences air flow, is the planetary boundary layer. This layer is typically a few hundred meters to 2 km (1.2 mi) deep depending on the landform and time of day. Atop the troposphere is the tropopause, which is the border between the troposphere and stratosphere
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Atmosphere
An atmosphere (from Greek ἀτμός (atmos), meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα (sphaira), meaning 'sphere') is a layer or a set of layers of gases surrounding a planet or other material body, that is held in place by the gravity of that body. An atmosphere is more likely to be retained if the gravity it is subject to is high and the temperature of the atmosphere is low. The atmosphere of Earth is composed of nitrogen (about 78%), oxygen (about 21%), argon (about 0.9%) with carbon dioxide and other gases in trace amounts. Oxygen is used by most organisms for respiration; nitrogen is fixed by bacteria and lightning to produce ammonia used in the construction of nucleotides and amino acids; and carbon dioxide is used by plants, algae and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis. The atmosphere helps to protect living organisms from genetic damage by solar ultraviolet radiation, solar wind and cosmic rays
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Median
The median is the value separating the higher half of a data sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. For a data set, it may be thought of as the "middle" value. For example, in the data set {1, 3, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9}, the median is 6, the fourth largest, and also the fourth smallest, number in the sample. For a continuous probability distribution, the median is the value such that a number is equally likely to fall above or below it. The median is a commonly used measure of the properties of a data set in statistics and probability theory. The basic advantage of the median in describing data compared to the mean (often simply described as the "average") is that it is not skewed so much by extremely large or small values, and so it may give a better idea of a "typical" value
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Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American fact tank based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It also conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research
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Sea Ice
Sea ice arises as seawater freezes. Because ice is less dense than water, it floats on the ocean's surface (as does fresh water ice, which has an even lower density). Sea ice covers about 7% of the Earth’s surface and about 12% of the world’s oceans. Much of the world's sea ice is enclosed within the polar ice packs in the Earth's polar regions: the Arctic ice pack of the Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic ice pack of the Southern Ocean. Polar packs undergo a significant yearly cycling in surface extent, a natural process upon which depends the Arctic ecology, including the ocean's ecosystems. Due to the action of winds, currents and temperature fluctuations, sea ice is very dynamic, leading to a wide variety of ice types and features. Sea ice may be contrasted with icebergs, which are chunks of ice shelves or glaciers that calve into the ocean
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Subtropics
The subtropics are geographic and climate zones located roughly between the tropics at latitude 23.5° (the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn) and temperate zones (normally referring to latitudes 35–66.5°) north and south of the Equator. Subtropical climates are often characterized by hot summers and mild winters with infrequent frost. Most subtropical climates fall into two basic types: humid subtropical, where rainfall is often concentrated in the warmer months (for example Brisbane, Queensland or Jacksonville, Florida), and Mediterranean or dry-summer, where rainfall is concentrated in the cooler months (for example Naples, Italy or Los Angeles, California). Subtropical climates can occur at high elevations within the tropics, such as in the southern end of the Mexican Plateau and in Vietnam and Taiwan
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Arctic Sea Ice Decline
Arctic sea ice decline is the sea ice loss observed in recent decades in the Arctic Ocean. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report states that greenhouse gas forcing is largely, but not wholly, responsible for the decline in Arctic sea ice extent
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Proxy (climate)
In the study of past climates ("paleoclimatology"), climate proxies are preserved physical characteristics of the past that stand in for direct meteorological measurements and enable scientists to reconstruct the climatic conditions over a longer fraction of the Earth's history. Reliable global records of climate only began in the 1880s, and proxies provide the only means for scientists to determine climatic patterns before record-keeping began. Examples of proxies include ice cores, tree rings, sub-fossil pollen, boreholes, corals, lake and ocean sediments, and carbonate speleothems. The character of deposition or rate of growth of the proxies' material has been influenced by the climatic conditions of the time in which they were laid down or grew. Chemical traces produced by climatic changes, such as quantities of particular isotopes, can be recovered from proxies
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Permafrost
In geology, permafrost is ground, including rock or (cryotic) soil, at or below the freezing point of water 0 °C (32 °F) for two or more years. Most permafrost is located in high latitudes (in and around the Arctic and Antarctic regions), but at lower latitudes alpine permafrost occurs at higher elevations. Ground ice is not always present, as may be in the case of non-porous bedrock, but it frequently occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of the ground material
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Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas or nitrous, is a chemical compound, an oxide of nitrogen with the formula N
2
O
. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a slight metallic scent and taste. At elevated temperatures, nitrous oxide is a powerful oxidizer similar to molecular oxygen. Nitrous oxide has significant medical uses, especially in surgery and dentistry, for its anaesthetic and pain reducing effects. Its name "laughing gas", coined by Humphry Davy, is due to the euphoric effects upon inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use as a dissociative anaesthetic
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Climate Resilience
Climate resilience can be generally defined as the capacity for a socio-ecological system to: (1) absorb stresses and maintain function in the face of external stresses imposed upon it by climate change and (2) adapt, reorganize, and evolve into more desirable configurations that improve the sustainability of the system, leaving it better prepared for future climate change impacts. With the rising awareness of climate change impacts by both national and international bodies, building climate resilience has become a major goal for these institutions. The key focus of climate resilience efforts is to address the vulnerability that communities, states, and countries currently have with regards to the environmental consequences of climate change. Currently, climate resilience efforts encompass social, economic, technological, and political strategies that are being implemented at all scales of society
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Heat Wave
A heat wave is a period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity, especially in oceanic climate countries. While definitions vary, a heat wave is measured relative to the usual weather in the area and relative to normal temperatures for the season. Temperatures that people from a hotter climate consider normal can be termed a heat wave in a cooler area if they are outside the normal climate pattern for that area. The term is applied both to hot weather variations and to extraordinary spells of hot which may occur only once a century. Severe heat waves have caused catastrophic crop failures, thousands of deaths from hyperthermia, and widespread power outages due to increased use of air conditioning
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