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Summary for Policymakers: The Science of Climate Change - IPCC Working Group I

Description: Greenhouse gas concentrations have continued to increase. Anthropogenic aerosols tend to produce negative radiative forcings. Climate has changed over the past century. The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate. Climate is expected to continue to change in the future. There are still many uncertainties.
Date: 1995
Creator: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Partner: UNT Libraries

WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1995

Description: There is continuing international concern about global warming and its potential to cause serious disruption to vulnerable social and economic sectors of society as well as to sustainable development efforts. As recently as December 1995, scientists of the World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment Programme (WMO/UNEP) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate", through emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, there is a developing capability within national Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to provide comprehensive information on past, present, and future (seasons to a year ahead) climate and its variations, to a wide spectrum of users. The rapid development of global communications systems means that such information can be provided on a timely basis and is, therefore, of great use to national decision makers.
Date: 1995
Creator: World Meteorological Organization
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate change

Description: The Earth's climate has not been constant over geological time. This record is contained in ice, which has built up as snowfall accumulated in distinct yearly layers. Pockets of air trapped between the snow crystals contain traces of past atmospheres, which in turn tell us about the climate at the time the snow formed. Glaciologists collect this record by drilling ice cores and then use sensitive chemical techniques to analyse the layers.
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey
Partner: UNT Libraries

NOAA Makes New Tree Ring Data Available

Description: New data from tree rings from 500 sites around the world are now available from NOAA. These data are important because they provide climate scientists and resource managers with records of past climatic variability extending back thousands of years.
Date: October 17, 2001
Creator: NOAA News
Partner: UNT Libraries

Climate Change: The Evidence Mounts Up

Description: This article was published in Nature and summarized the presentations of a six-day symposium held 3-8 July 1995 on Climate Variability and Forcing over the past mellennium. Our present climate is unusually warm, and the pattern of warming over the past century strongly suggests an anthropogenic influence from greenhouse gas and sulphate aerosols. That was the message emerging from a week-long symposium examining climate variability over the past 1,000 years, which brought together results from a growing array of observational techniques, analyses of natural records and model results.
Date: August 24, 1995
Creator: MacCracken, Michael C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Remarks by Administrator O'Keefe at the Earth Observation Summit

Description: Remarks by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe at the 2003 Earth Observation Summit in Washington, DC. The purpose of the summit was to promote the development of a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Earth observation system or systems among governments and the international community to understand and address global environmental and economic challenges, and also to begin a process to develop a conceptual framework and implementation plan for building this integrated Earth observation system. When the space age dawned it was clear that the ability to propel robotic spacecraft and humans beyond the gravity of our home planet would open up untold avenues of exploration and discovery throughout the Solar System and beyond. What was not understood at the time was how comprehensive observations of the Earth system from space would lead to a significant new field of scientific inquiry.
Date: July 31, 2003
Creator: O'Keefe, Sean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ice Core Records of Past Climate Changes: Implications for the Future, USGCRP Seminar, 18 September 1995.

Description: This document provides a brief overview of Dr. Thompson's talk on records of changes in climate in general and the most significant implications of the ice core records of past climate changes in particular. Because climate processes that have operated in the past continue to operate today, ice core records are providing very valuable insights. Within the last two decades, long cores of glacial ice have been used to establish and improve the record of past changes in climate. Analysis of ice cores from Antarctica, Greenland and tropical and subtropical areas have provided a wealth of detailed information on past climate changes. As the ice in these glaciers and ice sheets grew over time, layer by layer, tiny pockets of air were trapped within each layer, preserving a continuous record of the natural changes in the concentrations of greenhouse and other gases. In addition, these ice cores have preserved indirect/proxy records of changes in temperature (which can be closely estimated from the isotopic record of oxygen trapped in the ice), in the concentration of windblown dust, and in volcanic activity. By combining this information, these ice cores have preserved a 200,000-year history of climate changes and factors contributing to these changes.
Date: September 18, 1995
Creator: Thompson, Lonnie G. & Bender, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Our Changing Planet: The FY 1995 U.S. Global Change Research Program

Description: The U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM (USGCRP) supports activities that provide information and policy-relevant understanding about the coupling of human activities and the environment across a broad range of issues, perspectives, and interactions. Global change research focuses on providing scientific insight into critical global change issues and policy choices facing the nation and the world community. Global change research to address these issues is organized into a flexible multidisciplinary framework for coordinating science activities. Each global change issue is addressed through a process which strives to document, understand, predict, and assess the science in a way that yields results that are relevant to the needs of decision makers. The USGCRP is founded on the premise that international cooperation and coordination is fundamental to addressing global environmental issues. USGCRP programs significantly contribute to worldwide global change research efforts
Date: 1994
Creator: U.S. Global Change Research Information Office
Partner: UNT Libraries

New Source of Natural Fertilizer Discovered in Oceans

Description: New findings suggest that the deep ocean is teeming with organisms that produce essential natural fertilizers. A National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research team led by Jonathan Zehr, a marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has discovered a previously unknown type of photosynthetic bacteria that fixes nitrogen, converting nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form other organisms can use.
Date: August 8, 2001
Creator: National Science Foundation (U.S.). Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program Vision for the Program and Highlights of the Scientific Strategic Plan

Description: The vision document provides an overview of the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) long-term strategic plan to enhance scientific understanding of global climate change.This document is a companion to the comprehensive Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program.
Date: July 2003
Creator: Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fiscal Year 2005- 2006 Accelerated Research on Global Climate Observations Fact Sheet

Description: Coincident with the release of the Climate Change Science Program strategic plan, the Administration announces plans for the acceleration of select high priority research projects and climate observations. These activities contribute to filling critical knowledge gaps identified in the plan (aerosols, oceans and the natural carbon cycle). The selected investments have been coordinated among the agencies to maximize the overall impact. Funding will be reallocated from lower priority areas to enable these critical investments.
Date: 2003
Creator: Climate Change Science Program
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Science Plan

Description: Human population and associated industrial activities continue to increase rapidly, and have reached levels that put the environment under stress in many areas of the world. In addition natural fluctuations of the Earth's physical and biological systems, often occur in time frames that are not readily evident to man. Such fluctuations cause additional stress on the environment, and can result in changes that impact society in terms of diminished availability of clean water, unspoiled land and natural vegetation, minerals, fish stocks, and clean air. Human societies are making a rapidly increasing number of policy and management decisions that attempt to allow both for natural fluctuations and to limit or modify human impact. Such decisions are often ineffective, as a result of economic, political and social constraints, and inadequate understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural responses. Improved understanding of such issues is important in its own right, and will contribute to ameliorating economic, political and social constraints. Developing improved understanding of environmental change is within the realm of the natural sciences and is being addressed by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and other programmes concerned with describing and understanding the Earth System. Natural variability, occurring over a variety of time scales, dominates the health of complex marine ecosystems, regardless of fishing or other environmental pressure. We are only now beginning to compile quantitative documentation of such variability, and consequently our knowledge concerning its causes remains at the level of hypotheses. Understanding of the role of variability in the functioning of marine ecosystems is essential if we are to effectively manage global marine living resources such as fisheries during this period of tremendously increased human impact, and concurrent dependence, on these resources.
Date: 1997
Creator: Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)
Partner: UNT Libraries

NOAA Updates What Defines Normal Temperature

Description: Normal temperatures and precipitation levels for your area may have changed as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center recently released new 'normal' data for about 8,000 weather stations. The data defines the normal temperature at locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Islands. These data are used as a benchmark for weather forecasters to calculate day-to-day temperature and rainfall departures from typical levels and are also used by business, government and industry for planning, design and operations.
Date: September 6, 2001
Creator: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding ecosystems

Description: Plants and animals live in environments which change over different periods of time. Some changes happen each year with the seasons, whilst others take hundreds or even millions of years. As these changes occur, living organisms respond in different ways. To cope with the changing seasons, individuals can change their physiology or behaviour, for instance by hibernating or migration. In response to longer-scale change, species may adapt through evolutionary change. If they cannot, they must either move away or become extinct.
Date: 2003
Creator: British Antactic Survey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Description: New evidence suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is retreating more slowly and contributing less to rising global sea levels than scientists once thought. In fact, said researchers at a recent meeting, the sheet was still growing as recently as 8,000 years ago -- thousands of years after the most recent Ice Age.
Date: December 27, 2000
Creator: NASA
Partner: UNT Libraries

NOAA Sets the El Niño Prediction Straight

Description: El Niño is an abnormal warming of the ocean temperatures across the eastern tropical Pacific that affects weather around the globe. El Niño episodes usually occur approximately every four-five years. NOAA researchers and scientists are presently monitoring the formation of a possible weak El Niño and predict that the United States could experience very weak-to-marginal impacts late winter to early spring 2002.
Date: September 7, 2001
Creator: NOAA News
Partner: UNT Libraries

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics: Implementation Plan

Description: This document describes plans for the implementation of the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) programme element of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). This Implementation Plan is an international response to the need to understand how global change, in the broadest sense, will affect the abundance, diversity and productivity of marine populations comprising a major component of oceanic ecosystems. The Plan describes the consensus view, developed under the auspices of the GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), on the research required to fulfill the scientific goals laid out in the GLOBEC Science Plan (IGBP Report No. 40). The Implementation Plan expands on the Science Plan, drawing on the results and recommendations of workshops, meetings, and reports thereof, that have been sponsored under the auspices of GLOBEC. The GLOBEC research programme has four major components which, are described in detail in this Implementation Plan; the research Foci, Framework Activities, Regional Programmes, and Integrating Activity. These are summarized in the Table of Contents, and in schematic diagrams within the text. They are the elements that have been planned by, and will be implemented under the auspices of, the GLOBEC SSC. National GLOBEC programmes may select those aspects of this international framework which are relevant to meeting national objectives, or they may develop new directions as needed to meet specific national needs.
Date: 1999
Creator: GLOBEC International Project Office
Partner: UNT Libraries

Declaration of the Earth Observation Summit

Description: This single page document is a declaration of the participants of the Earth Observation Summit held in Washington DC, adopted on July 31, 2003. An affirmation for the need for timely, quality, long-term, global information as a basis for sound decision making. Also establishes an ad hoc Group on Earth Observations aimed at developing a global observing strategy.
Date: July 31, 2003
Creator: [Earth Observation Summit]
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clouds in the Balance

Description: This feature article provides a summary of study about the role of clouds in the balance. Until recently, scientists were uncertain whether clouds had an overall net cooling or heating effect on the Earth's climate. But recent studies show that, in the tropics, a "near cancellation" between shortwave cooling and longwave warming exists, which indicates that the amount of incoming radiant energy is roughly equal to the amount of outgoing radiation. However, small changes in tropical cloudiness can disrupt this precarious balance.
Date: October 11, 2001
Creator: Schmidt, Laurie J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Signals of Human-induced Climate Warning, USGCRP Seminar, 10 October 1995.

Description: There is increasing evidence that the global climate is changing: global temperatures have risen about 1 F over the past century, mountain glaciers are melting back, sea level is rising. But how is the climate of the United States changing? Are these changes like others being experienced around the world? Is the US climate becoming more or less variable? Are we having more or fewer climatic extremes? This USGCRP seminar addresses these questions in the context of the anthropogenic influences on atmospheric composition and climate
Date: October 10, 1995
Creator: Karl, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Floods and Drought, USGCRP Seminar, 8 May 1995.

Description: In this USGCRP seminar, issues about the impact of drought and floods in the news and feel it in the cost of goods and services would be discussed. Each year seems to bring with it droughts or floods that cause billions of dollars in economic losses and untold societal disruption to major parts of our nation. (Drought in the Midwest in 1988 and in the Southeast in 1989. Floods in the Mississippi River Basin in 1992 and in California in 1994). Around the world the situation is the same, even worse in some instances. What causes these extreme events and conditions? Can we predict the occurrence of such events as a means of being prepared, and reducing the impacts of extreme climate events? Can we be better prepared? What success to date has there been in predicting such events? What's the prognosis?
Date: May 8, 1995
Creator: Sarachik, Edward & Leetma, Ants
Partner: UNT Libraries

Policy Issues In Implementing Effective Application Of Weather Services To The Management Of The Nation's Highway System: Position Papers

Description: This document contains positions papers of a policy forum for weather and highways developed by the Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with additional support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this document (Panel 3), panelists discuss policy issues affecting the use of weather information in managing the U.S. Highway System.
Date: November 4, 2003
Creator: Atmospheric Policy Program American Meteorological Society
Partner: UNT Libraries