"global warming" refers to the increase in the average temperature of global surface air and oceans since about 1950, and to continuing increases in those temperatures. Another term for "global warming" is "climate change."

Summary of "What Is Global Warming?" Global warming refers to the increased temperature of Earth's surface, including land, water and near-surface air. Per most of the scientific community, Earth has warmed significantly since the mid-20th century due to an increase in greenhouse gases that trap heat on Earth. Physical evidence of global warming is widespread and startlingly significant. The respected National Geographic Society summarizes evidence of global warming, which includes: • "Average (Earth) temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850. "Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss. "Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910.

the countries most vulnerable to global warming’s most serious side effects are among the poorest and least able to pay for the medical and social services and technological solutions that will be needed to adapt to climate change. Global warming will probably make life harder. natural vegetation. and crop productivity is expected to fall. rising sea level. for most people. not easier. People in some temperate zones may benefit from milder winters. more abundant rainfall.• " An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events. But people in other areas will suffer from increased heat waves. the balance can be difficult to assess. places where famine and food insecurity are greatest in today’s world are not places where milder winters will boost crop or vegetation productivity. heat waves. For moderate climate change. is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts. but instead. and expanding crop production zones. low-lying coastal zones. if other environmental conditions are also favorable. the more negative the consequences will become. The ranges of diseases and insect pests that are limited by temperature may expand. This is mainly because we have already built enormous infrastructure based on the climate we now have. are places where rainfall will probably become less reliable. and strong tropical storms. and droughts. and domesticated and wild animals (including seafood) that sustain people in a given area may be unable to adapt to local or regional changes in climate. human population continues to grow most rapidly in flood-vulnerable. The crops. such as wildfires. • • THINGS TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING: • Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing • Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb • Cover your pots while cooking • Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full • Take a shower instead of a bath • Use less hot water • Be sure you’re recycling at home • Recycle your organic waste . But the larger the change in climate. global warming’s impacts: • at the same time that sea levels are rising." global warming a problem: The cost and benefits of global warming will vary greatly from area to area. coastal erosion. more erratic rainfall.