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Dictionary on climate. Click specific word to get more information on the subject.

100000-year problem
A difference in the actual glaciation and what would be expected considering the…
Absorption
When Solar radiation is transformed into heat in the lower atmosphere and on the…
Adaptation
Process by which an organism tracks its environment over generations. For…
Adaptation to global warming
Actions and strategies intended to minimize the effects that global warming will…
Aerosol
Solid particles or liquid droplets suspended in a gas. Aerosols can be found in…
Agriculture
Climate and weather have always been important to farmers. With the growing human…
Albedo
The fraction of sunlight an object or material reflects. Albedo measures what part…
Annual cycle
Progression of the seasons through the year. If there was no climate change then a…
Anthropogenic
Made by humans or caused by human activity. Anthropogenic effects often arise as by…
Arctic amplification (Polar amplification)
More pronounced climate change near the North Pole compared to the rest of the…
Arctic shrinkage
A decrease in the amount of Arctic sea ice and the melting of the Greenland Ice…
Atmosphere
The layer of gases that surrounds a planet. The gases of the atmosphere are held in…
Biodiversity
Variety of animals, plants and other forms of life. The word is shorthand for…
Biofuel
Fuel made from biomass. A biofuel can be a liquid, a solid or a gas. Biofuels can…
Biomass
Living and recently dead biological material. In the context of climate change it…
Biosphere
The sum of and interaction between all living beings. The biosphere is the global…
Carbon credit
A way for industries to compensate for a failure to keep below their emission…
Carbon cycle
The movement of carbon through biological, atmospheric, chemical and geological…
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Molecule made up of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. Carbon dioxide is a gas under…
Carbon dioxide equivalent
Measure for describing how much global warming a greenhouse gas may cause, using…
Carbon footprint
A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases emitted by a…
Carbon neutral
Individual or organizations that offset their carbon emissions with corresponding…
Carbon offset
A way to make a process carbon neutral by compensating for an emission with a…
Carbon sink
Any process or material that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The ocean…
Carbon tax
A fee that has to be paid by a person, a company or a nation emitting CO2. When…
Climate
Average weather over a time period, usually 30 years. The climate is very complex.…
Climate change
Change in global climate over time. Climate change is measured by changes in…
Climate change denial
Opposition to the idea of climate change that is not based on evidence. Climate…
Climate delay
The expected future climatic impact of present day activities. It is often referred…
Climate ethics
Area that focuses on the impact climate change will have on human life and well-…
Climate legislation
Laws and regulation dealing with greenhouse gas emission or other activities that…
Climate model
A mathematical representation of the interaction between a planet's atmosphere and…
Climate sensitivity
The increase in temperature following a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. More…
Climate skeptic
A person or organization opposing the consensus on global warming. Climate skeptic…
Climatology
The study of climate. Climatology studies the atmosphere, circulation patterns,…
Cloud feedback
A negative feedback or a positive feedback where an initial rise in temperature…
Conferences of the Parties (COP)
Yearly meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC…
COP-17
Conference of the parties to be held in Durban, South Africa during from the 28th…
Deforestation
The systematic and continued removal of trees and bushes from an area of land.…
Ecosystem
A community of plants, animals and microorganisms, and the non-living environment…
El Niño
An ocean-atmosphere phenomenon in the tropical Pacific that occurs at irregular…
Emission
The release of a pollutant, normally a gas, into the atmosphere. In the context of…
Emissions trading
A system that tries to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by creating a market…
Evapotranspiration
The sum of evaporation and plant transpiration, which add water vapor to the…
Forcing
External factor that influences climate or a climate model. Generally forcing is…
Fossil fuel
Energy resources such as crude oil, natural gas and coal formed from the remains of…
General Circulation Models (GCMs)
The most important parts of a climate model. General Circulation Model is often…
Glaciation
The formation and growth of glaciers. Glaciation is also sometimes used instead of…
Glacier
A mass of ice that has become so heavy that it deforms and starts to slowly move.…
Global cooling
A global decrease in temperatures resulting in glaciation. The climate has changed…
Global warming
The warming of the oceans and of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface. The…
Global warming controversy
A disagreement of the nature, the causes and the consequences of global warming.…
Global warming potential
A measure of how much a greenhouse gas contributes to global warming. The global…
Greenhouse effect
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that prevent heat from escaping into space. The…
Greenhouse gas
Gas in the atmosphere that prevents the Earth's heat radiation from escaping into…
Greenland Ice Core Project
A project with the objective of getting information about past climates by…
Gulf Stream
A warm ocean current that flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, and continues up along…
Hypothesis
A scientific hypothesis is a proposed explanation of a phenomenon that can be…
Ice age
A period of time with temperatures low enough for ice sheets to form and…
Ice core
A cylindrical sample of ice, typically from the ice sheets of Antarctica and…
Industrial Revolution
The shift from an economy driven by manual labor and agriculture to one driven by…
Inland ice
An ice sheet covering about 80 percent of the island of Greenland. The largest mass…
Insolation
Solar radiation (sunlight) received on a surface. Insolation is often expressed as…
IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
An United Nations organization that makes assessments about the climate based on…
Keeling Curve
A graph showing the rising atmospheric content of carbon dioxide, CO2. The curve is…
Kyoto Protocol
An international agreement linked to the environmental treaty United Nations…
Meteorology
The study of the atmosphere and specifically the weather, which involves studying…
Methane
A greenhouse gas produced both naturally and by humans. Chemical formula: CH4. Ice…
Migration
When animals or people move from one area to another. Usually migration is a…
Milankovitch cycles
The cyclic changes in climate caused by variations in Earth's rotation and orbit.…
Mitigation of global warming
Strategies and actions intended to limit future global warming. Mitigation of…
Natural climate oscillations
Natural repeating variations in the climate. An oscillation is a repetitive…
Negative feedback
When a change in a system leads to a process that reduces that change. Negative…
Ozone
A molecule made of three oxygen atoms, also called trioxygen, O3. Ozone is present…
Ozone layer
A layer in the atmosphere rich in ozone, which prevents ultraviolet rays from…
Paleoclimatology
The study of past climate conditions on Earth. Knowing about past climate changes…
Permafrost
Soil or rock frozen for a period of at least two years. Permafrost can develop in…
Photosynthesis
The process by which some, photosynthetic, organisms use the energy of sunlight to…
Polar city (Lovelock Retreats)
A city build to house the last human survivors in a worst case scenario of global…
Pollen analysis
The study of plant pollen, fossil and living, for identifying vegetation changes.…
Positive feedback
When a change in the state of a system, for example the climate, leads to…
Precipitation
Condensation of atmospheric water vapor that returns to the Earth's surface as rain…
Quota
The amount of greenhouse gas that a nation is allowed to emit into the atmosphere…
Renewable energy
Energy sources that renew naturally. In terms of human time, renewable energy…
Respiration
The process by which cells of living organisms gain energy by breaking down…
Scientific consensus
A general agreement in the scientific community regarding a particular issue.…
Sea level (Eustasy)
The height of the sea surface relative to the land. Eustasy is the rise and fall of…
Solar radiation (sunlight)
All the electromagnetic radiation coming from the Sun. Some of the Sun's radiation…
Solar variation
Changes in the amount of radiation from the Sun. The Sun changes over time, and…
Stern Review
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a report published in 2006…
Sunspot
Area on the Sun that appears dark, because it is cooler than the rest of the…
Sustainable development
'Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without…
Temperature
A measurement of the internal energy of a system. There are three standard…
Temperature record
A collection of temperature measurements of various time spans. Used for showing…
Thermohaline circulation
Circulation of the oceans driven by differences in water salinity and temperature.…
Tipping point
A point where even a small additional temperature increase will lead to dramatic…
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
An international treaty produced in 1992 at the “Rio Earth Summit”. The purpose of…
Urban heat island
An urban region that is warmer than nearby surrounding rural areas. Caused by…
Volcanic activity
The past, current, and future eruptive activity of a volcano. A volcano can be…
Water cycle
Describes the way water on Earth moves through a series of states and steps in an…
Water vapor
Water in its gaseous state. Water has three states: ice, liquid and vapor. Clouds…