Climate change is real. The science is compelling.

And the longer we wait, the harder the problem will be to solve.


-Senator John Kerry




Global Warming and Climate Change

Written by John Gates

Global warming and climate change refer to separate phenomena. They are often confused because even though they are interrelated, they are not the same. Global warming refers to the increase in the earth’s temperature; this increase will lead to climate change and a lot of unwanted consequences.

The two main effects of global warming include the increase of the earth’s temperature by as much as 3° to 5° C and the rise of sea levels to a minimum of 25 meters by the year 2100.
Among the serious consequences that must be addressed include:
    •    Reduction of fresh water supply – the rising sea levels causes flooding to occur on coastlines. As sea-water reaches inland, it will mix with the fresh water lakes, thus sharply decreasing the amounts of accessible fresh water.
    •    Endangered species will become extinct – rising temperatures force the alteration of habitats. The polar ice caps are melting and therefore the wildlife that lives on them will have nowhere to go. For this reason, certain species may be forced out and become extinct.
    •    Vector-borne diseases can increase – the diseases that can be carried by insects, animals, and humans will have a wider range because of the warmer climate.
    •    Increase of extreme weather conditions – the number of hurricanes has increased significantly since 1975. In addition, changes in temperatures have also led to the increase, in terms of frequency and intensity, of other extreme conditions such as floods, droughts, tornadoes, and heat waves.

News Sources about Global Warming and Climate Change
New York Times: Global Warming
CNBC Global Warming Guide
US Environmental Protection Council: Climate Change
National Climate Data Center
Natural Resources Defense Council: Global Warming

Guide to Global Warming and Climate Change
Weather Questions
Time: 51 Things We Can Do To Save the Environment
The Marshall Institute: Guide to Global Warming

Other Helpful and Related Information
Tidepooling in Oregon
Oceanography Links from Earth Education Online
State of the World Fact Sheet
Helpful Links for Thinking Green


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