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Research

How is Precipitation Changing?

Observations show that changes are occurring in the amount, intensity, frequency and type of precipitation. These aspects of precipitation exhibit great natural variability, with substantial influence from phenomena such as El Nino and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Precipitation in a given region depends largely on the current weather in that region. Changes in cloud and wind patterns have a direct influence on precipitation.

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How are Temperatures on Earth Changing?

Instrumental records over the past 157 years show that temperatures at the Earth’s surface have risen globally. Since the 1970s, the increase has been more extreme, with temperatures having risen by 0.55oC. 11 of the 12 warmest years on record have occurred in the past 12 years.

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How do Human Activities Contribute to Climate Change?

...And How do They Compare with Natural Influences?

Human activities contribute to climate change due to the release of greenhouse gases and aerosols, which leads to changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. These emissions affect the amount of incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface, therefore intensifying the greenhouse effect and warming the atmosphere. The chief contributor is the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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What is the Greenhouse Effect?

Solar radiation reaches the Earth’s atmosphere. Two-thirds enters the atmosphere and most of this is absorbed by the Earth’s surface. Longwave, infrared radiation is emitted from the Earth’s surface, much of which is absorbed in the atmosphere and re-radiated back to Earth. This is known as the greenhouse effect. This gives us the liveable temperature we have today. Without this the Earth’s average temperature would be well below freezing.

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