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International Climatic Changes

This LibGuide was created for the purpose of providing users with an overview of international response to climate change.

An Introduction

Climate change is "an alteration in the regional or global climate . . . [it is] the change in global climate patterns [that became] increasingly apparent from the mid to late 20th [century and] onwards and [is] attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels".

"climate, n.1". OED Online. June 2015. Oxford University Press. (accessed June 12, 2015).

Global warming, is the "long-term gradual increase in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere and oceans, [which is] generally thought to be occurring at the present time, and to be associated . . . with side effects of recent human activity such as the increased production of greenhouse gases."

"global warming, n.". OED Online. June 2015. Oxford University Press. (accessed June 12, 2015).

"Global sea level, the average height of the ocean's surface apart from the daily changes of the tides, is rising. Both the main causes of this change are linked to anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. First, warming of the ocean causes it to expand. This effect, confined mostly to the ocean's top 2,300 ft (701 m), is called thermal expansion or thermosteric expansion. Second, melting of glaciers and other bodies of ice lying on land causes the total mass of water in the ocean to increase.

. . .

Sea level will continue to rise for at least the next few centuries because of global-warming processes already set in motion, but how much farther it rises will depend on factors that are difficult to predict, including whether human societies reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions and the degree to which the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melt. The future behavior of these ice sheets is uncertain. Recent data show that melting of both sheets has recently been faster than any computer climate model had predicted. Rising sea levels harm human coastal communities and natural coastal ecosystems."

Gilman, L. (2008). Sea Level Rise. In B. W. Lerner & K. L. Lerner (Eds.), In Context Series. Climate Change (Vol. 2, pp. 772-778). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from