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Science of climate change
The study of significant and lasting changes in the weather pattern over a period of decades to periods of millions of years (climate change) has been undertaken since ancient times (around 300 BC). More intresting research however has been undertaken since the 18th/19th century, due to a availability of new instruments that allow better examination of changes in the weather pattern. Since this period, the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since from the 19th to the 21st century (global warming) has also been under investigation. In this article, we will specifically focus on that. Note that Appropedia is focused on finding solutions to problems and not on making in-depth analysis' of the problems themselves. As such, you will only find basic and especially relevant information on global warming here. See Wikipedia:Climate science as a starting point for additional climate science information.
Overview of global warming
The global average air temperature near the Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the last 100 years. This event has been called global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely caused due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases 
The overall effect is most accurately termed 'climate change' rather than 'global warming' as there are many changes of concern besides warming, and it also includes various local effects.
Global warming also includes variations in rainfall patterns. Some areas will become drier, others wetter; most will become warmer, but some may become cooler; ice caps will melt (though how much is unclear) and sea levels will rise. This is expected have devastating effects on vulnerable communities.
Climate change skepticsW are a group of scientists that question some specifics in the reports of the IPCC and other organisations on global warming. Some also question that the current rise in overall temperature is caused by GHG's (and ie blame other phenomena instead). Regardless, we do not need to prove beyond doubt that GHG's are indeed the main cause of global warming: consider the practice of the insurance industry to plan for outcomes of varying degrees of likelihood. As the scientific consensus is that there is a very strong probability (the IPCC says 90%[verification needed]) that humans are causing significant climate change, it is vital to prepare for it.
Notes and references
- Greenhouse effect
- Note: this is not an endorsement of arguments found at this website. If a site is assessed in depth and found to be seriously inaccurate and misleading, it should be removed from this page, and the reasons given on the talk page (where the decision can be noted and reviewed by the Appropedia community).