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More than 99.9% of studies agree: Humans caused climate change
By krishna ramanujan.
More than 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that climate change is mainly caused by humans, according to a new survey of 88,125 climate-related studies.
The research updates a similar 2013 paper revealing that 97% of studies published between 1991 and 2012 supported the idea that human activities are altering Earth’s climate. The current survey examines the literature published from 2012 to November 2020 to explore whether the consensus has changed.
“We are virtually certain that the consensus is well over 99% now and that it’s pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change,” said Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at the Alliance for Science and the paper’s first author.
“It's critical to acknowledge the principal role of greenhouse gas emissions so that we can rapidly mobilize new solutions, since we are already witnessing in real time the devastating impacts of climate related disasters on businesses, people and the economy,” said Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a co-author of the study, “ Greater than 99% Consensus on Human Caused Climate Change in the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature ,” which published Oct. 19 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
In spite of such results, public opinion polls as well as opinions of politicians and public representatives point to false beliefs and claims that a significant debate still exists among scientists over the true cause of climate change. In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that only 27% of U.S. adults believe that “almost all” scientists agreed that climate change is due to human activity, according to the paper. A 2021 Gallup poll pointed to a deepening partisan divide in American politics on whether Earth’s rising observed temperatures since the Industrial Revolution were primarily caused by humans.
“To understand where a consensus exists, you have to be able to quantify it,” Lynas said. “That means surveying the literature in a coherent and non-arbitrary way in order to avoid trading cherry-picked papers, which is often how these arguments are carried out in the public sphere.”
In the study, the researchers began by examining a random sample of 3,000 studies from the dataset of 88,125 English-language climate papers published between 2012 and 2020. They found only found four out of the 3,000 papers were skeptical of human-caused climate change. “We knew that [climate skeptical papers] were vanishingly small in terms of their occurrence, but we thought there still must be more in the 88,000,” Lynas said.
Co-author Simon Perry, a United Kingdom-based software engineer and volunteer at the Alliance for Science, created an algorithm that searched out keywords from papers the team knew were skeptical, such as “solar,” “cosmic rays” and “natural cycles.” The algorithm was applied to all 88,000-plus papers, and the program ordered them so the skeptical ones came higher in the order. They found many of these dissenting papers near the top, as expected, with diminishing returns further down the list. Overall, the search yielded 28 papers that were implicitly or explicitly skeptical, all published in minor journals.
If the 97% result from the 2013 study still left some doubt on scientific consensus on the human influence on climate, the current findings go even further to allay any uncertainty, Lynas said. “This pretty much should be the last word,” he said.
Support for the Alliance for Science is provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Climate Change Research Paper
Excerpt from Research Paper :
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk wants to help save the environment by producing cars that don’t pollute the earth. Tesla represents a company that is interested in getting people to shift away from fossil-fuel burning machines and embrace clean energy machines like one of his Tesla EVs. Akherst (2016) points out that we have to move to clean energy and go green—because our planet is green and if we want to keep it that way we have to go green with it. There are great new products like hemp plastic which can be used to replace the plastics we use in our everyday lives but that accumulate in landfills because they are not biodegradable. A product like hemp plastic, which is all-organic and made from industrial hemp—a plant—so that when it is disposed of it will go back into the earth without a problem, is a type of product that more people need to be using to help combat the landfill problem (O’Connell, 2017). The landfill problem, after all, is part of the climate change problem, as Shaftel (2018) points out. Everything that we do on earth has an effect—either a negative or a positive effect. When we pollute the earth with plastics that do not go back into the earth, we cause a problem in terms of having too much waste. Likewise, the toil that goes into creating plastics—like getting petroleum out of the ground—just adds more pollution to the atmosphere . So getting rid of plastic and replacing it with hemp plastic would kill two birds with one stone: it would solve the landfill problem and it would cut down on harmful air pollution that comes from refining petroleum. Likewise, there is a man in California making fuel from algae that is eco friendly. It’s safe to use on vehicles and aircrafts. As Akherst (2016) notes, fossil fuels and their effect on the climate are the real enemy, and that is why eco friendly products like fuel-from—algae are so helpful: they combat the enemy. The fuel made from algae can be made to work for cars, aircrafts boats and small engines as well. It is bio fuel which means it is not harmful to the environment. Not only does the company (Global Algae Innovations) produce fuel but also oil and even feed. This company can take a large portion of climate change and put it to a stop. There are also cities that have no Co2 in their air because they run on clean energy and don’t use vehicles unless they are electric or eco friendly. It is possible to make a better world for our future generations, we are just too lazy to follow through. Really, it all starts right at home —and if we can’t bother to take care of our communities, buy locally and make sure our local farmers are supported so that we don’t have to ship in foods from halfway around the world just to feed ourselves when there are opportunities to feed ourselves locally. Going local helps to reduce the carbon footprint, too, as McMahon (2017) shows. In fact, McMahon (2017) shows that there are quite a few ways that we can fight climate change just in our everyday lives: one of the big problems is that our leaders don’t care enough about it to actually support changes that would make it even easier. McMahon (2017)…
Sources Used in Documents:
References Akherst, A. (2016). How Algae Could Change The Fossil Fuel Industry. Retrieved from https://www.realclearenergy.org/2016/10/01/how_algae_could_change_the_fossil_fuel_industry_279024.html Albeck-Ripka, L. (2018). Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-landfills-plastic-papers.html McMahon, J. (2017). 9 Things You Can Do About Climate Change. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2017/01/23/nine-things-you-can-do-about-climate-change/#44066154680c O’Connell, K. (2017). Hemp Makes Great Plastic, So Why Isn’t Hemp Plastic Everywhere? Retrieved from https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/why-isnt-hemp-plastic-everywhere/ Schenker, A. (2018). Why Is Recycling So Important? Retrieved from https://www.earthsfriends.com/why-recycling-important/ Shaftel, H. (2018). Climate change. Retrieved from https://climate.nasa.gov/ Wallace-Wells, D. (2017). The Uninhabitable Earth. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html?gtm=top>m=top Wile, R. (2016). Happy Earth Day! America officially sucks at recycling. Retrieved from https://projectearth.us/happy-earth-day-america-officially-sucks-at-recycling-1796423880
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Climate Change and Disease Global
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Climate Change; Too Hot to Handle Climate
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Climate Change Executive of a Company Re:
Climate Change Executive of a Company Re: Implications of different approaches for the U.S. To implement and address climate change. Anthropogenic climate change is that which is dominated by human influences, in particular human contribution to atmospheric composition. It is established that anthropogenic climate change is like to continue for many centuries. The effects of climate change on the planet, and on the U.S., will be far-reaching, affecting all aspects of human life
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Climate Change Regulation Climate Change Climate is referred to as the weather patterns of a particular area over a long period. Earth climate can be divided into five main groups, which are as follow: Tropical Climate Dry Climate Warm Moderate Climate Cold Moderate Climate Cold Climate Areas close to equator are the hottest as they get regular sunshine while areas close to poles are the coldest as they receive minimum amount of sunshine. There are two main factors
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11 simple steps to help you write a research paper on climate change
Climate change often tops the list of controversial essay topics students are often required to write about. What are you to do when you receive instructions on an assignment that requires you to write a research paper on such a wide topic? Most likely, your first reaction will be to panic. Too little time, such a controversial topic…you must feel overwhelmed
Not to worry, our 11 step guide assures you of an enjoyable experience while writing your research paper;
- Start your assignment early
There never will be any advantage of starting your assignment too close to the deadline. Save yourself the last minute stress, start early. A research paper takes time to complete.
- Read and understand your instructions
You do not want to dive right into the deep sea that is climate change without knowing what you are looking for. Finishing your research paper only to find out you will have to re-do it will not make for an enjoyable experience
Climate change really is a wide topic. There are a range of issues you can decide to discuss, and an even wider array of formats your research paper can take. Think about narrowing down your topic to something more specific
- Formulate your research question
This is the compass of your research paper. A good research paper answers a question completely and comprehensively. Again, you have to be careful not to have a research question that is too general.
- Get down to the research
This is the most important part of your research paper. You do not want to type your research question into a search engine and pick any source that comes up. Not all sources have accurate information.
How do you know a credible source from one which isn’t? Ask yourself who, what, when?
A credible source for a paper on climate change has an author that is knowledgeable in the subject of climate change, is published by a legitimate organization and has the most recent information related to climate change.
- Come up with a clear, concise thesis statement
The thesis statement sets the stage for your research paper. It gives a brief outline that the paper will follow; you must not leave it out of your first paragraph.
- Create an outline for your paper
A good research paper must have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs depends on the length requirement of your essay.
- Write your paper
While this may seem like he most difficult part, the steps taken to this point will make writing the paper quite simple. As you write, always cite the sources of information you have used. Use specific examples and avoid grammar and spelling mistakes
- Create a reference list
Once you have finished your research paper on climate change, compile all the sources you have used throughout the paper in a list that is formatted according to the paper requirements.
- Proofread your paper
Read through your paper correcting any grammar and syntax errors
- Get a second opinion
It is always good to have someone else read your paper for a second opinion.
Mistakes to avoid when writing a research paper on climate change
There are some traps you should watch out for;
- Having a topic that is too general or too specific
- Depending on one source for all your content
- Forgetting to cite a source used in your paper amounts to plagiarism
- Not having body paragraphs that flow from one to the next which will leave your reader confused
- Not proofreading your research paper which might leave some careless errors
Now you know what to do and what not to do when working on your climate change paper. While it may seem like a difficult task at first, make sure to use our simple guide to help you write your research paper.
Do not forget to watch out for the common mistakes students make when writing a research paper.
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Top 100 Climate Change Topics To Write About
Climate change issues have continued to increase over the years. That’s because human activities like fossil fuel usage, excavation, and greenhouse emissions continue to drastically change the climate negatively. For instance, burning fossil fuels continues to release greenhouse emissions and carbon dioxide in large quantities. And the lower atmosphere of the earth traps these gasses thereby affecting the global climate. To enhance their awareness of the impact of global warming, educators ask learners to write academic papers and essays on different climate change topics.
According to statistics, global warming affects the climate in different ways. However, the earth has experienced a general temperature increase of 0.85 degrees centigrade over the last 100 years. Such statistics show that this increase will eventually pass the acceptable thresholds in the next 10 years or less. And this will have dire consequences on human health and the global climate. As such, writing a paper about a topic on climate change is a great way to educate the masses.
However, some learners have difficulties choosing topics for their papers and essays on climate change. That’s because this is a relatively new subject. Nevertheless, students that are pursuing ecology, political, and biology studies are conversant with this subject. If struggling to decide what to write about, consider this list of topics related to climate change.
Climate Change Topics for Short Essays
Perhaps, your educator has asked you to write a short essay on climate change. Maybe you’re yet to decide what to write about because every topic you think about seems to have been written about. In that case, use this list of climate change topics for inspiration. You can write about one of these topics or develop it to make it more unique.
- How climate change is responsible for the disappearing rainforest
- The effects of global warming on air quality within the urban areas
- Global warming and greenhouse emissions- Possible health risks
- Is climate change responsible for irregular weather patterns?
- How has climate change affected the food chain?
- The negative effects of climate change on human wellbeing
- How global warming affects agriculture
- How climate change works
- Why is climate change dangerous to human health?
- How to minimize global warming effects on human health
- How global warming affects the healthcare
- Effects of climate change of life quality in rural and urban areas
- How warmer temperatures support allergy-related illnesses
- How climate change is a risk to life on earth
- How climate change and natural disasters correlate
- How climate change affects the population of the earth
- How climate change relates to global warming
- How global warming has caused extreme heating in most urban areas
- How wildfires relate to climate change
- How ocean acidification and climate change affect the world’s habitat
These climate change essay topics cover different aspects of human activities and their effects on the earth’s ecosystem. As such, writing a research paper or essay on any of these topics requires extensive research and analysis of information. That’s the only way you can come up with a solid paper that will impress the educator to award you the top grade.
Climate Change Issues that Make for Good Topics
Maybe you want to research issues that relate to climate change. Most people may have not considered such issues but they are worthy of climate change debate topics. In that case, consider these issues when choosing your climate topics for papers and essays.
- Climate change and threat to natural biodiversity are equally important
- Climate change in Miami and Saudi Arabia- How the effects compare
- Climate change as a human activity’s effect on the environment
- Preventing climate change by protecting forests
- Climate change in China- How the country has declined to head to the global call about saving Mother Nature
- Common causes of climate change
- Common effects of climate change
- The definition of climate change
- What is anthropogenic climate change
- Describe climate change
- What drives climate change?
- Renewable energy sources and climate change
- Human and economics induced climate change
- Climate change biology
- Climate change and business
- Science, Spin, and climate change
- Climate change- How global warming affects populations
- Climate change and social concepts
- Extreme weather and climate change- How they relate
- Global warming as a complex issue in climate change
These are great climate change topics for research papers and essays. However, writing about these topics requires extensive research. You should also be ready to spend energy and time finding relevant and latest sources of information before you write about these topics.
Interesting Climate Change Topics for Papers and Essays
Perhaps, you want to write an essay or paper about something interesting. In that case, consider this list of interesting climate change research paper topics.
- Climate change across the globe- What experts say
- Development, climate change, and disaster reduction
- Critical review- Climate change and agriculture
- Schools should include climate change as a subject in geography courses
- Consumption and climate change- How the wind blows in Indiana
- How the United Nations responds to climate change
- Snowpack and climate change
- How climate change threatens global security
- The effects of climate change on coastal areas’ tourism
- How climate change relates to Queensland Australia’s floods
- How climate change affects the tourism and hospitality industry
- Possible strategies for addressing the effects of climate change on urban areas
- How climate change affects indigenous people
- How to avoid the threats of climate change
- How climate change affects coral triangle turtles
- Climate change drivers in the Asian countries
- Economic discourse analysis methodology in climate change
- How climate change affects New Hampshire businesses
- How climate change affects the life of an individual
- The economic cost of the effects of climate change
These are fantastic climate change paper topics to explore. Nevertheless, you must be ready to research your topic extensively before you start writing your academic paper or essay.
Major Topics on Climate Change for Academic Writing
Perhaps, you’re looking for topics related to climate change that you write major papers about. In that case, you should consider these global climate change topics.
- Early science on climate change
- How the world can manage the effects of climate change
- Environmental issues relating to climate change
- Views comparison about the climate change problem
- Asset-based community development and climate change
- Experts’ evaluation of climate change
- How science affects climate change
- How climate change affects the ocean life
- Scotland’s vulnerability to climate change
- How energy conservation can solve the climate change problem
- How climate change affects the world economy
- International collaboration and climate change
- International relations view on climate change
- How transportation affects climate change
- Climate change and technology
- Climate change policies and human rights
- Climate change from an anthropological perspective
- Climate change as an international security issue
- Role of the United Nations in addressing climate change
- Climate change and pollution
This category has some of the best climate change thesis topics. That’s because most people will be interested in reading papers on such topics due to their global perspectives. Nevertheless, you should prepare to spend a significant amount of time researching and writing about any of these topics on climate change.
Climate Change Topics for Presentation
Perhaps, you want to write papers on topics related to climate change for presentation purposes. In that case, you need topics that most people can resonate with. Here is a list of topics about climate change that will interest most people.
- How can humans stop global warming in the next ten years
- Could humans have stopped global warming a decade ago?
- How has the environment changed over the years and how has this change caused global warming?
- How did the Obama administration try to limit climate change?
- What is the influence of chemical engineering on global warming?
- How is urbanization connected to climate change?
- Theories that explain why some nations ignore climate change
- How global warming affects the rising sea levels
- How anthropogenic and natural climate change differ
- How the war against terrorism differs from the war on climate change
- How atmospheric change influences global climate change
- Negative effects of global climate change on Minnesota
- The greenhouse effect and ozone depletion
- How greenhouse affects the earth’s environment
- How can individuals reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses
- How climate change will affect humans in their lifetime
- What are the social, physical, and economic effects of climate change
- Problems and solutions to climate change on the Pacific Ocean
- How climate change relates to species’ extinction
- How the phenomenon of denying climate change affects animals
This list prepared by our research helpers has some of the best essay topics on climate change. Pick one of these ideas, research it, and then compose a winning paper.
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Climate Change Research Papers Samples That Help You Write Better, Faster & with Gusto
When you need a little push to develop an excellent Climate Change Research Paper, nothing does the job more efficiently than a top-notch sample you can use for inspiration or as a template to follow. And hardly can you find a finer resource with so many first-class Research Paper samples than WePapers.com free database of Climate Change papers. Each Climate Change Research Papers example you see here can do one or several of these things for you: give you a hint about a striking topic; motivate you to come up with a creative angle on a well-studied issue; demonstrate the best writing techniques you can exploit; and/or present you with accurate structure templates. Apply this precious insight to write an outstanding paper of your own or use our professional writers' assistance to get a custom Climate Change Research Paper sample delivered right to your email inbox.
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Research Paper: "The Climate Change" - Introduction Section
We usually pay attention to how the weather changes throughout a week, a month, or even compared to previous few years. On the other hand, there are changes that are not visible and can only be observed by scientists using sensitive equipment. Certain patterns in weather that have a tendency to recur each year are called a climate. Nowadays scientists claim that there are major changes to the climate all over the world that will have, or already have, dire consequences.
Consider these facts provided by NASA:
- Global temperature increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.
- The amount of land ice decreases by 258 billion tons per year. Greenland ice loss doubled between 1996 and 2005.
- According to the latest data, since 1969, the oceans have absorbed much of the increased heat, with more than 2300 feet of ocean getting warmer for over 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The amount of carbon dioxide parts increased to 399.60 per million. Its levels in the air are at its highest in 650,000 years.
- The amount of arctic ice decreases by 13.3 percent per decade. In 2012, Arctic summer ice shrank to the lowest extent on the record. What is more, the Greenland ice sheets have also significantly decreased in mass. According to the information provided by the professionals engaged in NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, Greenland lost nearly 286 billion tons of ice annually during the period from 1993 to 2016. At the same time, the data prove that Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons of ice annually within the same time frames.
- In accordance with the satellite observations, over the last fifty years, the amount of spring snow cover on the territory of the Northern Hemisphere has decreased. What is more, the scientists also note the snow begins to melt earlier.
The primary factor that affects all the other changes in our climate is the temperature change. What are the main reasons the temperature changes throughout the years? There is a certain amount of heat that the Earth gets from the sun, and there is also a certain amount of heat that bounces back to the space. Our temperature depends on both these factors. The point is that when the heat reaches the Earth and then is reflected back to the atmosphere, the certain amount of it is stopped by the so called greenhouse gases. They are vital for keeping the right amount of heat on the Earth so that all the living creatures can exist on our planet. However the increasing amount of it changes the average temperature which can lead to unprecedented changes in our climate. The greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Their number has increased due to burning of fossil fuels, which has become the primary source of energy for people nowadays.
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Climate scientists all over the globe agree that the Industrial Revolution could be called the defining moment when emissions of greenhouse effect gases started soaring when entering the atmosphere. It is important to mention that the Industrial Revolution wasn’t a separate phenomenon itself. Instead, it was the consequence of less grandiose revolutions, such as demographic, agricultural, transport, tech, and finance. All together, they led to creation of a new model of production and consumption. From that moment, exploding use of available resources, the growth of population (for example, in 1750, the population on earth was less than 800 million people, while at the moment there are more than 7.5 billion people living on the planet), increasing production and demand of energy, all saw the earth entering into the so-called Anthropocene period. The latter is known as a new geological era mainly characterized by how people affect the planet. It is difficult for most of us to understand why a slight increase in the average temperature on the planet can somehow influence us. Consider this example: there are a lot of glaciers that are at the verge of melting and increasing the temperature by even one degree can make this process begin. In addition, such climate changes can result in longer period of droughts in some regions, the increasing number of wildfires, and the bigger number of tropical storms.
In general, the global temperature increase stands behind catastrophic consequences that are dangerous to not only flora and fauna, but human beings as well. The most disastrous climate change impacts include endangering coastal environments, melting of the poles ice, and flooding. This, in turn, may become the main explanation for some of the small island states’ disappearance in the future. Finally, intensive climate change also tends to cause more severe weather situations, such as the death of plants and animals, fires, droughts, as well as climate refugees, especially when it comes to the developing countries. That being said, we are going to make an in-depth analysis of all the factors that cause the greenhouse effect, the consequences, including the potential ones, and the ways of solving this problem.
- The current and future consequences of global change (2014). Retrieved from http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
- What Is Climate and Climate Change? (2014). Retrieved from https://eo.ucar.edu/basics/cc_1.html
How to Write an Introduction on a Scientific Research Topic:
- Remember that an introduction is no less important than any other part of your research paper. Therefore, you should be careful of what information you add to it. Your research paper introduction should be presentable, as it is the first thing your audience will read. Therefore, provide some highlights from the paper to catch the reader’s attention.
- The length of your introduction depends on the length of your research paper, but don’t go overboard. The introduction shouldn’t be longer than one page.
- In general, an introductory part of a research paper serves to announce your topic, give research rationale and context for your project, before your provide your research hypothesis and questions.
Serious Mistakes to Avoid in Research Paper Introduction
Check out the most common mistakes that students shouldn’t make in the process of writing an introduction part of the research paper. Keep in mind these:
- Never include the facts that you won’t be able to prove. For instance, of you refer to the fact that 2016 was the warmest year since 1880, make sure to provide the trusted sources where this information is given (in this case – climate.nasa.gov ).
- Don’t skip the proofreading and editing stage to make certain your piece is errorless.
- Ensure that your research paper introduction includes logical linking to the body section that will prove your main point.
- Keep away from choosing the general topic that won’t let you answer the research question because it will not only ruin your introduction, but the rest of the project as well.
- In case with the topic of climate change, never overuse data, stats, and figures throughout your introduction.
- Figure out your thesis statement and the hook before you begin to write your paper intro.
Your Final Climate Change Intro Checklist
Want to make your research paper introduction impeccable? Here’s an important checklist:
- Your introduction includes a strong thesis statements that reflects the key thoughts related to climate change.
- Your introduction is properly formatted, with logical structure, and visible paragraphs.
- The introduction ends with a strong thesis statement and the core arguments.
- You proofread it before you submit the paper.
Finally, in a research paper on climate change, there is a solid structure that you’ll have to follow.
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Analysis: The most ‘cited’ climate change papers
On Monday, we revealed the results of our survey of scientists in which we asked them to name the “most influential” climate change papers of all time.
The most popular nomination was a seminal paper by Syukuro Manabe and Richard T Wetherald published in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences in 1967.
Now, we turn from the subjective to the objective and look at which are the most “cited” climate change papers. Here, Carbon Brief analyses which papers have had the biggest impact in the academic world, and who wrote them.
Thousands of peer-reviewed academic papers are published about climate change every year. These articles form the bedrock of climate science, underpinning the assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
With so many papers from so many journals, some inevitably sink without trace. But others become the centrepiece of their field or spark new areas of research.
There are various databases to search through which list the thousands of academic papers published each year. Amidst options such as Google Scholar and Web of Science , we plumped for Scopus , the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.
In Scopus, we searched for any academic paper with the phrase ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ in its title, abstract or keywords. We also tried using just ‘climate’ for the searches, but that produced a very broad range of articles. As we wanted to look at both the top papers and all papers far beyond the top 100, we wouldn’t have manually been able to filter out all the non-climate papers for the analysis. So we went with ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’, though this does mean that some climate change papers without those terms in the title, abstract or keywords would miss out.
But in response to queries from some climate scientists , we’ve also, for comparison, included the top 10 ‘climate’ papers at the end of the article.
We then limited the search to give us only pure research articles, filtering out other publications such as book chapters, conference papers, review articles and editorials.
The search yields a total of almost 120,000 papers, as of the beginning of June this year. You can see below how the number of published papers about climate change took off during the 2000s.
Total number of climate change papers published, by year. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
As the chart below shows, most of the papers relate to environmental science (25% of papers), earth and planetary science (22%) and agricultural and biological sciences (16%). But the search also unearths papers from social science (8%), medicine (3%) and even dentistry (0%, or 4 papers).
Subject of climate change papers, by topic area. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
Across all 120,000 papers, the most prolific author is Dr Philippe Ciais from the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat and de l’Environment in Paris. Ciais has 120 published articles on climate change, mostly about the global carbon cycle.
Coming in second is Prof Richard Tol , from the Department of Economics at the University of Sussex , with 113. And third place goes to Prof Josep Penuelas , director of the Global Ecology Unit at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona . You can see the rest of the top 10 in the graphic below.
Top 10 most prolific authors of climate change papers. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
But while the number of publications shows how prolific a researcher is, it doesn’t reveal how influential their work is. To do that we need to look at citations.
Citation, citation, citation
In an academic paper, scientists will refer to previous work by other scientists in their field. This may be to set the scene of their research or acknowledge a method or finding that someone else produced. In doing this they refer to, or ‘cite’, other academic papers.
Databases such as Scopus keep track of how many times each paper has been cited by others. We extracted the 100 most cited climate change papers.
The top paper, with 3,305 citations, is Nature paper, ” A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems “, by Prof Camille Parmesan , at the University of Texas and Plymouth University , and Prof Gary Yohe , from Wesleyan University .
Published in 2003, the paper assessed the global impact of climate change on more than 1,700 biological species, from birds and butterflies to trees and alpine herbs. Parmesan and Yohe found that 279 species are already being affected by climate change, and 74-91% of these changes agree with what is expected from projections.
This paper also featured in our analysis as one of the papers that IPCC authors considered the most influential .
In runners-up spot is an Ecological Modelling paper from 2000, ” Predictive habitat distribution models in ecology “, with 2,746 citations. The paper was written by Prof Antoine Guisan , now of the UniversitÃ© de Lausanne , and Dr Niklaus Zimmerman of the Swiss Federal Research Institute .
And coming in third is ” Extinction risk from climate change “, again published in Nature, with 2,562 citations. This 2004 paper has 19 authors, but the lead was Dr Chris Thomas from the University of Leeds .
Our infographic below shows the top 10 most cited papers on climate change.
Top 10 most cited climate change papers. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
Apart from the Parmesan and Yohe article, just one of our top most influential papers according to IPCC authors makes the top 100 of most cited. This is the Journal of Climate paper “ Robust responses of the hydrological cycle to global warming “, by Prof Isaac Held and Prof Brian Soden , which comes in 34th.
So where are the climatic luminaries of Syukuro Manabe , Guy Callendar and Charles Keeling ? Well, primarily, Scopus doesn’t yet have complete citations for papers published before 1996, so older papers might be underrepresented in the top 100 most cited.
But another reason could be that papers tend to have more citations in recent years because there are more papers on climate change being published, so more opportunities to be cited. This is reflected in the top 100, where most are from 2000 onwards, and none before 1988.
Likewise, very recent papers don’t appear in the top 100 because they haven’t been around long enough to accrue citations. The most recent paper in the top 100 was published in 2011.
So we’ve looked at which authors produce the most papers, but which have appeared most often in the top 100 of cited papers? No researcher appeared more than twice as a lead author, but four appeared as at least a co-author in five papers.
Featuring in this group is, once again, Prof Ciais. But alongside him with five papers are Dr Josep Canadell , the executive director of the Global Carbon Project at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation ( CSIRO ) in Australia, Dr Richard Houghton , a senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, and Prof Colin Prentice , professor of life sciences at Imperial College London .
Beyond the leading four, another two researchers are authors on four papers, and a further ten have authored three. This makes up a top 16 of authors behind the 100 most cited papers, which you can see in the graphic below.
Top 16 authors with the most papers in the top 100 most cited. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
We also looked at which institutions were behind the top 100 papers. This time we just concentrated on the primary institution that each paper’s lead author was affiliated to.
Two come out top, with six papers each: the University of East Anglia , and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the US. In total, there are 17 institutions with at least two papers in the top 100.
Looking at the countries where these institutions reside, there is a prominent leaning towards western countries in the northern hemisphere. The US and the UK dominate, with almost three-quarters of the top 100 papers.
Papers in the top 100, by institution. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
The rest are sprinkled through Europe, with a few further afield, including Australia, China and Costa Rica.
For comparison, we’ve also mapped which countries all 120,000 papers were authored from. Although note this isn’t a direct comparison, because this data include the locations of all the authors on each paper, not just the lead.
Map of countries with most papers, for the top 100 most cited (top), and for all climate change papers (bottom). Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief and © OpenStreetMap contributors © CartoDB.
You can see again that researchers in the US and UK are responsible for the bulk of climate change papers, but, interestingly, China comes in third with 7%. Looking into the data, over a fifth of these papers have an author from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In fact, according to Scopus, over 2,200 of all 120,000 papers have at least one author from the Chinese Academy, though just one makes into our top 100 most cited.
Finally, we looked at where our top 100 most-cited papers were published. And there were no surprises here. Top of the tree are journal powerhouses Nature (27 papers) and Science (26), accounting for over half of the top 100, and Nature has six of the top 10. This doesn’t include sister journals, such as Nature Climate Change or Science Advances .
Trailing behind at some distance are Journal of Climate (9), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (4) and Review of Geophysics (3). No other journal makes more than two appearances in the top 100.
Top 100 climate papers, by journal. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
But do Nature and Science only come out top because they publish the most articles on climate change? According to Scopus, it seems not.
Of all 120,000 papers, most were published by Geophysical Research Letters (3,057 papers), followed by Journal of Climate (2,600) and Climatic Change (2,200). Nature comes in 12th (839) and Science way down in 20th (625).
Here’s the entire Top 100 list if you want to have a look yourself.
Top ‘climate’ papers
As we mentioned earlier, searching for papers on “climate change” or “global warming” may mean overlooking some climate-related papers that don’t necessarily have these terms in their title, abstract or keywords. So, for comparison, below is the top 10 most cited “climate” papers.
Top 10 most cited climate papers. Differences in citation numbers between top 10 climate papers and top 10 climate change papers (see earlier graphic) are because the database was searched on different days. Data from Scopus. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief
The most cited “climate” paper is ” The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project “, with a total of 13,905 citations. The paper has 22 authors, but the lead was Prof Eugenia Kalnay , then at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction at NOAA in the US, but now of the University of Maryland .
Published in the journal Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in 1996, the paper describes the development of a 40-year global climate record, which has been used – and hence cited – in thousands of other climate studies.
Graphic preview: The top ten most cited climate papers.
Updated on 10 July 2015: We amended the top15 most cited authors infographic to add in a scientist we missed out.
- Analysis: The most 'cited' climate change papers
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The number of papers classified as predicting, implying, or providing supporting evidence for future global cooling, warming, and neutral categories. Bars indicate number of articles published per year. Squares indicate cumulative number of articles published. For the period 1965 through 1979, the literature survey found seven papers suggesting further cooling, 20 neutral, and 44 warming. Even in the early years of the study of climate change, more science studies were discussing concerns about global warming than global cooling. (Figure source: Peterson et al. 200814).
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Climate Change and Health: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians
- PMID: 27089232
- DOI: 10.7326/M15-2766
Climate change could have a devastating effect on human and environmental health. Potential effects of climate change on human health include higher rates of respiratory and heat-related illness, increased prevalence of vector-borne and waterborne diseases, food and water insecurity, and malnutrition. Persons who are elderly, sick, or poor are especially vulnerable to these potential consequences. Addressing climate change could have substantial benefits to human health. In this position paper, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that physicians and the broader health care community throughout the world engage in environmentally sustainable practices that reduce carbon emissions; support efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; and educate the public, their colleagues, their community, and lawmakers about the health risks posed by climate change. Tackling climate change is an opportunity to dramatically improve human health and avert dire environmental outcomes, and ACP believes that physicians can play a role in achieving this goal.
- Addressing Air Quality and Health as a Strategy to Combat Climate Change. Joy EA, Horne BD, Bergstrom S. Joy EA, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2016 May 3;164(9):626-7. doi: 10.7326/M16-0507. Epub 2016 Apr 19. Ann Intern Med. 2016. PMID: 27089453 No abstract available.
- Climate Change and Health. Crowley RA, Moyer DV, DeLong DM. Crowley RA, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Nov 15;165(10):747-748. doi: 10.7326/L16-0411. Ann Intern Med. 2016. PMID: 27842409 No abstract available.
- Climate Change and Health. Berman DS. Berman DS. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Nov 15;165(10):746. doi: 10.7326/L16-0412. Ann Intern Med. 2016. PMID: 27842410 No abstract available.
- Climate Change and Health. Mondrow E. Mondrow E. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Nov 15;165(10):745-746. doi: 10.7326/L16-0413. Ann Intern Med. 2016. PMID: 27842411 No abstract available.
- Climate Change and Health. Reines EJ. Reines EJ. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Nov 15;165(10):746-747. doi: 10.7326/L16-0414. Ann Intern Med. 2016. PMID: 27842412 No abstract available.
- Climate changes, environment and infection: facts, scenarios and growing awareness from the public health community within Europe. Bezirtzoglou C, Dekas K, Charvalos E. Bezirtzoglou C, et al. Anaerobe. 2011 Dec;17(6):337-40. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.05.016. Epub 2011 Jun 2. Anaerobe. 2011. PMID: 21664978
- Climate change: challenges and opportunities for global health. Patz JA, Frumkin H, Holloway T, Vimont DJ, Haines A. Patz JA, et al. JAMA. 2014 Oct 15;312(15):1565-80. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.13186. JAMA. 2014. PMID: 25244362 Free PMC article. Review.
- Climate Change, Human Rights, and Social Justice. Levy BS, Patz JA. Levy BS, et al. Ann Glob Health. 2015 May-Jun;81(3):310-22. doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2015.08.008. Ann Glob Health. 2015. PMID: 26615065 Review.
- The physician's response to climate change. Sarfaty M, Abouzaid S. Sarfaty M, et al. Fam Med. 2009 May;41(5):358-63. Fam Med. 2009. PMID: 19418286
- Addressing Climate Change and Its Effects on Human Health: A Call to Action for Medical Schools. Goshua A, Gomez J, Erny B, Burke M, Luby S, Sokolow S, LaBeaud AD, Auerbach P, Gisondi MA, Nadeau K. Goshua A, et al. Acad Med. 2021 Mar 1;96(3):324-328. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003861. Acad Med. 2021. PMID: 33239537
- [Environmentally friendly absorption of anesthetic gases : First experiences with a commercial anesthetic gas capture system]. Kochendörfer IM, Kienbaum P, Großart W, Rossaint R, Snyder-Ramos S, Grüßer L. Kochendörfer IM, et al. Anaesthesiologie. 2022 Nov;71(11):824-833. doi: 10.1007/s00101-022-01210-y. Epub 2022 Oct 27. Anaesthesiologie. 2022. PMID: 36301310 Review. German.
- Climate Change Related Depression, Anxiety and Stress Symptoms Perceived by Medical Students. Schwaab L, Gebhardt N, Friederich HC, Nikendei C. Schwaab L, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jul 27;19(15):9142. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19159142. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022. PMID: 35897512 Free PMC article.
- Talking about Climate Change and Environmental Degradation with Patients in Primary Care: A Cross-Sectional Survey on Knowledge, Potential Domains of Action and Points of View of General Practitioners. André H, Gonzalez Holguera J, Depoux A, Pasquier J, Haller DM, Rodondi PY, Schwarz J, Senn N. André H, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 18;19(8):4901. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084901. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022. PMID: 35457768 Free PMC article.
- Empowering Veterinarians to Be Planetary Health Stewards Through Policy and Practice. Kiran D, Sander WE, Duncan C. Kiran D, et al. Front Vet Sci. 2022 Mar 3;9:775411. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2022.775411. eCollection 2022. Front Vet Sci. 2022. PMID: 35310413 Free PMC article.
- Climate change impacts on infectious diseases in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East (EMME)-risks and recommendations. Paz S, Majeed A, Christophides GK. Paz S, et al. Clim Change. 2021;169(3-4):40. doi: 10.1007/s10584-021-03300-z. Epub 2021 Dec 30. Clim Change. 2021. PMID: 34980932 Free PMC article.
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Original research article, lessons learned and policy implications from climate-related planned relocation in fiji and australia.
- School of Architecture and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Planned Relocation is a form of mobility in response to climate-related shocks and slow onset change. While the primary focus of the seminal Foresight report on Migration and Environmental Change dealt with mobility processes of migration and displacement, planned relocation was discussed as a viable, yet fraught adaptation strategy. Since the publication of the Foresight report in 2011, considerable research into planned relocation has progressed understanding, in part due to the emerging case study examples globally over the last 10 years. The authors of this article have undertaken research in communities across Australia and Fiji who have initiated and undertaken planned relocation processes, to varying degrees of completion and success. As part of the Research Topic—Climate Migration Research and Policy Connections: Progress Since the Foresight Report—in this article we look back at the lessons that emerged from the Foresight report, and provide key insights from our experiences, as well as through drawing on the broader literature, and through doing so offer lessons learned, and policy insights for planned relocation across these regions, and beyond. This research is especially relevant given the context of planned relocation in these two nations: Australia, a country that has experienced severe fires and flooding events over the last few years, which have raised important questions around the role planned relocation may play in future national adaptation discussions and planning, with buy-back schemes occurring across the country; and Fiji, a country at the forefront of planned relocation globally, with 800 communities listed as in need of relocation by the Government of Fiji, and numerous cases of completed, initiated and planned relocation emerging. Primary findings indicate: there are examples of people choosing to remain in sites of exposure despite relocation plans, making the notion of “voluntariness” essential; relocation has the potential to be a successful adaptation option if planned well with strong participatory governance; a need to think broadly and holistically around the needs and livelihoods of effected communities in relocation planning; and the need for longitudinal studies to track the implications and impacts (both positive and negative) of relocation in the long term.
As climate impacts intensify, various forms of human mobility will be exercised by populations as both pre-emptive and reactive adaptation strategies. The Cancún Adaptation Framework (adopted in December 2010) recognized “climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation” as forms of mobility central to climate change adaptation ( UNFCCC, 2011 , p. 5). Since then, a number of developments in policy have occurred, including the Task Force on Displacement within the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage, and the Global Compact for Migration. Consequently, displacement, migration and planned relocation have all received significant attention over the ensuing years. For example, the seminal Foresight Report on Migration and Global Environmental Change, published in 2011, synthesized current literature on global drivers and forces linked to population mobility (including migration, displacement, and relocation).
While all are forms of human mobility, they are distinct. Displacement refers to the sudden and forced movement of people in response to a hazard event (environmental, social, or political), can often be temporary, and is largely associated with sudden onset disaster events. Ajibade et al. (2020) make a clear distinction between migration and planned relocation, which are often incorrectly conflated throughout the literature. Climate-related migration is defined broadly as human mobility toward a new location driven by a combination of push and/or pull factors. Planned relocation refers to the movement of people and infrastructure away from increasing exposure to environmental and climate risks and hazards, usually over a short geographical distance ( Hino et al., 2017 ).
As part of this Research Topic—Climate Migration Research and Policy Connections: Progress Since the Foresight Report—this paper focusses on the process of planned relocation. Specifically, the planned relocation of communities which can be defined as the movement of people, typically in groups or whole communities, as part of a process led by the state or other organization, to a predefined location ( Bower and Weerasinghe, 2021 ). Planned relocation is often referred to as managed retreat, or planned retreat. While discussed within the Foresight (2011) , planned relocation received less attention as a viable and important mobility response and was described as an option “fraught with pitfalls, where there are few positive experiences on which policy lessons can be built” (p. 676). Since the Foresight report was published in 2011, there has been significant knowledge generated surrounding climate-related planned relocation. In this article, the authors draw on their own experiences working in both Australia and Fiji, along with examples from global case studies of planned relocation, to provide insights, lessons and recommendations.
The rest of this article will be as follows. First, a literature review on planned relocation, post the 2011 Foresight review will be presented. This literature review is aimed at showcasing how far the literature in this field has grown and highlight key case study examples. Next, an overview of the two regions that will be drawn upon, Australia and Fiji, is presented. This will be followed by recommendations, insights, and lessons that have emerged since the publication of the Foresight report, drawing on examples from our collective experiences in Fiji and Australia, and the broader literature. A conclusion and future research section explores important opportunities for further research going forward.
2. Literature review: Climate-related relocation post Foresight Report (2011)
This section summarizes literature that has been published, primarily since the publication of the Foresight report in 2011. This is done, to showcase the growing literature that has emerged over the last 10 years on planned relocation. A relevant example of the emergence of research on this topic is from a recent literature review undertaken by O'Donnell (2022 ). O'Donnell (2022 ) analyzed the last 5 years (2017–2022) of literature on managed retreat (often used interchangeably with planned relocation) and identified 135 academic articles over this 5-year period. This was a notable increase in comparison to the 5-year earlier period (2012–2017). In a review of the literature undertaken by Marter-Kenyon (2020) , they similarly show an increase in literature over time, particularly since the formal recognition by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that relocation is a form of human migration in response to climate change.
In terms of geography, cases of planned relocation have been identified across all continents (excluding Antarctica) and specifically, in 78 countries ( Bower et al., 2022 ). Depending on the language used and parameters of the relocation process explored, the geographical distribution of case studies differs somewhat. A high concentration of the literature on planned relocation is centered in Europe, the USA, Asia, and the Pacific Islands ( Bower and Weerasinghe, 2021 ; Bower et al., 2022 ; O'Donnell, 2022 ). When exploring drivers of relocation, there is a high concentration associated with relocation in response to hydrometeorological events such as flooding, storms and tsunamis ( Bower and Weerasinghe, 2021 ), and in low-lying coastal regions from slow onset change such as sea level rise and erosion ( Bower et al., 2022 ). The drivers of relocations can be understood and explored further through a geographical lens. For example, in the literature in small island states there most relocation occurs away from low-lying coastal areas from slow on set changes, while in comparison, there is a large concentration of research related to disaster events such as hurricanes in North America ( Bower et al., 2022 ).
A key concept that has emerged is understanding the causality of drivers that precipitate relocation, and the degree to which climate change can be identified as a known contributor ( Marter-Kenyon, 2020 ). Despite the literature often pointing to a singular hazard or “event,” the drivers of relocation are more complex. There can be several experienced hazards or events that precipitate over time (i.e., multiple experiences of flooding that worsen with climate impacts) and eventually lead to relocation. Further, not all factors that influence planned relocation are climate related. For example, historic land use planning, land management practices, histories of marginalization, and development can be factors at play. Arnall (2014 , 2019) explores this when looking at relocation in Mozambique in response to flooding, documenting “causes” of flooding to be erratic weather (with a possible climate-related dimension), yet also draws attention to the impacts from dam developments which are present for hydroelectricity generation which have increased susceptibility of downstream populations to flooding events. In the Carteret islands, Papua New Guinea, relocation plans are spurred by a range of factors including coastal erosion, coastal flooding, soil salinity, population pressure, reef-based activities and tectonic movement, with potentially attribution to climate change ( Campbell, 2010 ; Edwards, 2013 ; Burkett, 2015 ; Dannenberg et al., 2019 ). As well as complex drivers, there are troubling pasts of governments using relocation and resettlement of communities as a form of surveillance and control ( De Wet, 2012 ; Marter-Kenyon, 2020 ), and some fear that climate change might be used to legitimize more coercive intentions to relocate populations ( Sherman et al., 2016 ).
Given the environmental and social controversies associated with relocation, a strong focus on social justice has emerged in recent literature on planned relocation. A recent special issue in Science focussed on these justice implications through exploring questions such as “how should managed retreat address centuries of colonialism, racism, discrimination, multigenerational displacement, disinvestment, and other injustices?” and “How can managed retreat improve well-being?” (see Siders and Ajibade, 2021 ). Siders and Ajibade (2021) and others (see Meerow et al., 2019 ; Wilmsen and Rogers, 2019 ; Frost and Miller, 2021 ) identify several considerations and lenses through which to explore justice when planning for sea-level rise, including planned relocations, and include: redistribution justice (accounting for the socially vulnerable), intergenerational equity and justice (not leaving future generations with exacerbated climate risks), procedural justice (processes are fair and include people in decision-making) distributional justice (benefits and outcomes are evenly distributed) responsibility (awareness of risks and options), and beneficiary pays (those who benefit should pay). This focus on justice has further been explored in relation to the concept of loss and damage, and whether relocation should itself be viewed as adaptation or a form of loss and damage. This is given the extensive non-economic losses that arise from climate related mobilities, including psychological harm and distress, especially amongst indigenous populations where high incidence of relocations have occurred ( McNamara et al., 2018 ; Clissold et al., 2022 ).
Challenges and considerations in planning and policy have emerged as central to the research in this field. This includes from the starting point of decisions to relocate, questions and issues related to “voluntariness,” coordination across actors involved in planning for relocation, and land use planning ( O'Donnell, 2022 ). Farbotko et al. (2020) explore the concept of voluntary immobility, and that relocation policy and planning must account for these populations, especially as relocation may indeed increase exposure and vulnerability rather than reduce it. Examples of voluntary immobility in the face of increasing exposure are emerging (see Schewel, 2020 ; Wiegel et al., 2021 ; Yee et al., 2022a ). Reasons for people remaining are complex and can span emotional, risk, economic, and social domains and differ across demographic factors such as age, and length of time living in place ( Seebauer and Winkler, 2020 ). In a similar vein, including local communities and those affected in the decision-making process around relocation early on in the process, can create a slow exposure, and enhance the acceptance of relocation for some community members. Outside of having effective coordination in relocation processes, Siders et al. (2019) argues for retreat to be effective it must be strategic, in that it incorporates opportunities for socioeconomic development, and should be managed in a context specific and innovative way.
Given the complex nature of relocation processes, it usually requires coordination across various actors involved from the local communities, local, provincial, or national governments, or external agencies. The role of various actors differs significantly across case studies from the literature. Some examples emerge where the government is driving relocation. For example, in the Solomon Islands, the Government has been planning the relocation of an entire island in response to sea-level rise and associated coastal hazard risk ( Albert et al., 2017 ). In Cuba, the government has implemented a relocation policy whereby communities living in coastal protected areas must relocate, which has been met with strong resistance by the coastal community of Carahatas ( Aragón-Duran et al., 2020 ). There are cases were relocation has been initiated by communities at the local scale and that have since sought government support. For example, the Indigenous community of Newtok in Alaska voted for relocation, chose a new relocation site, acquired land title, and begun constructing houses in response to significant biophysical hazards experienced in the village. A Planning Group was subsequently established to assist Newtok in the relocation consisting of numerous state, federal, and tribal governmental and non-governmental agencies ( Bronen and Chapin, 2013 ). Cases of communities initiating and executing relocation independently have also emerged. In response to mass erosion, a community in Brazil mobilized community resources to relocate and build new houses in another location ( Gini et al., 2020 ).
Planned relocation is a complex process and there is not a one size fits all approach. Relocation differs based on the number of people involved in the relocation, the distance over which they move, the driver or event that precipitates relocation, who has initiated and coordinated the relocation process, and the degree of willingness to relocate ( Bower and Weerasinghe, 2021 ; Piggott-McKellar et al., 2021 ). Accounting for this heterogeneity, planned relocations are viewed as an option of last resort and only to be considered when other in situ adaptation options have been exhausted ( Lawrence et al., 2020 ). However, relocation is an option that will remain in the toolbox of adaptation planning, especially as increasingly thresholds for in situ adaptation are met. This is exemplified in the most recent IPCC reporting where planned relocation has become a dominant adaptation measure discussed and addressed ( Pörtner et al., 2022 ). For example, in a Special Report on Responding to Sea Level Rise, planned relocations are presented as the only feasible option, alongside avoidance, to remove coastal risks in coming decades, yet not without broader social, political, cultural and economic risks ( IPCC, 2022 ).
3. Case study examples
The two regions presented here are Australia and Fiji. These two countries offer very different contexts, insights, and comparisons for planned relocation practice and policy. Australia is a country that has experienced severe fires and flooding events over the last few years, which have raised important questions around the role planned relocation may play in future national adaptation discussions and planning, with buy-back schemes recently announced in Northern New South Whales (NSW) and Southeast Queensland (QLD). This in contrast to Fiji, a country at the forefront of planned climate-related relocation globally, with roughly 800 communities assessed as highly vulnerable and in need of relocation ( GIZ, 2019 ), and numerous cases of completed, initiated, and planned relocation undertaken and emerging. As such, these two countries provide an interesting basis for exploring planned relocation.
While regions in the global south and small island states, such as our Pacific Neighbors, are often considered those most exposed to climate change ( Barnett and Campbell, 2010 ; Althor et al., 2016 ), all regions of the world will be affected. While Australia has historically experienced severe hazard events including droughts, cyclones, floods, and bushfires, according to the State of the Climate report produced by the Bureau of Meteorology and The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), climate change impacts are already being experienced in Australia and are exacerbating these already experienced disaster events. Some examples of climate attribution in Australia include: the climate in Australia has warmed 1.4 degrees Celsius since 1910, with seven of the nine hottest years on record occurring between 2013 and 2019; rainfall has become more variable, with some regions experiencing more frequent rainfall, while other regions are experiencing lower than average rainfall; short duration extreme rainfall events have increased by 10 percent or more in some regions across Australia, posing a risk for flash flooding; the length and intensity of fire seasons has increased since 1950; sea-levels are rising; and, a downward trend in snowmelt in alpine regions has been experienced over recent decades ( The Bureau of Meteorology CSIRO, 2020 ).
Major flooding events across 2021–2022 plagued the east coast of Australia ( State of New South Whales, 2022 ). This flooding has reinvigorated attention around the need for more dedicated local land use planning and preparedness, including through the option of relocation and retreat schemes to move affected communities to safer locations. In both Northern NSW and Southeast QLD, respective governments have announced buy-back schemes for affected households. In Northern NSW, an $800 million Fund has been developed to assist severely affected households, including through retreat, and in Southeast QLD a Resilient Homes Fund has been announced with $741 million toward households level adaptation, including buy-backs.
The only clear and executed example of relocation in Australia in the modern era, 1 is of the town of Grantham. The second author undertook research in Grantham in 2013 (see Sipe and Vella, 2014 ). Grantham is situated ~100 km outside of Brisbane, in Queensland. Grantham had experienced severe flooding events over the years leading up to 2011. In January 2011 a flash flood tore through the town, demolishing properties and killed 12 of the 370 residents. As a result of this flood, the town of Grantham mobilized and implemented a relocation plan. This process was exceptionally quick and within 11 months, the first home in the new location as occupied. Although some residents did not relocate and some expressed concern about the process, Grantham is widely seen a success story. The success of this community relocation case study was down to a range of factors which were built into the planning and management of the relocation and include: strong leadership of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, strong and adaptative coordination efforts across local, state and federal government, the ability to acquire land that was adjacent to the original site and was suitable, the inclusion of community members in decision-making and considerations.
While sea level rise is impacting livelihoods and people globally, rates of sea level rise are not globally uniform with significant variations regionally ( Meyssignac et al., 2017a , b ). For example, the documented rate of sea level rise in the Western Pacific Ocean is four times that of the global average ( Nurse et al., 2014 ) while in the ocean near and around Fiji, sea levels have been rising about 5.5 mm per year since 1992 which is roughly twice the global average ( Martin et al., 2018 ).
Over the last 10 years there are emerging case studies in Fiji of villages planning for relocation. Currently there are ~800 villages listed as in need of relocation ( GIZ, 2019 ). In addition to having a high number of villages earmarked for relocation, Fiji was the first country to develop planned relocation guidelines (see Government of Fiji, 2018 ). The information and data drawn on in this article derives from ethnographic fieldwork undertaken in Fiji over several years and numerous site visits across different communities. The first author has visited sites in 2017, 2019, and 2020 and has published articles related to planned relocation and mobility in Fiji (see Piggott-McKellar et al., 2019 , 2021 ; McMichael et al., 2021 ; Piggott-McKellar and McMichael, 2021 ). Here we will explore some of these examples across the spectrum of relocation responses and draw on relevant case studies where relevant. An overview of some of these are presented below to give context.
Vunidologoa is often viewed as one of the earliest examples of planned climate-related relocation within Fiji. In 2014, the village was relocated from the coastline to roughly 2 km inland owing to increased flooding events, coastal erosion, and saltwater intrusion. This relocation was initiated by the community, who approached the Government of Fiji for support. The Government of Fiji coordinated the relocation process, and the community also provided some significant in-kind contributions. After years of consultations and planning, eventually 30 new houses were built on land already owned by the village. The community were provided with livelihood additions in their relocation including pineapple plantations, cattle and fishponds.
Multiple examples of partial community relocation exist in Fiji, where only a portion of the community relocated, including Denimanu, Vunisavisavi and Narikoso (see Piggott-McKellar and McMichael, 2021 for further information). One example of this occurred in Denimanu village, on Yadua Island. After a cyclone in 2013 two rows of houses at the front of the village closest to the shoreline were destroyed. As such, these houses were relocated on a hill slope. This new location is still within walking distance from the original site, however, there have been some concerns amongst community members about possible impacts associated with landslides, given the primary school had recently been destroyed by a landslide event. In addition to these examples of partial village relocation there have also been emerging examples of communities, or portions of communities opting to remain despite either the opportunity for relocation as proposed by the government or external organization (Karoko village), or when the village has initiated their own relocation plans (Vidawa). In these cases, people have chosen to remain owing to deep attachment to place, and perceived risks and obstacles in relocating.
4. Insights and recommendations
Six recommendations were provided in the Foresight report pertaining to planned relocation. These policy recommendations were: (1) Given the challenges involved, a carefully planned movement is clearly superior to hastily organized, under-resourced, internal relocation; (2) The need to plan carefully also implies that funding has to be secured well in advance, and not, for example, raised when natural disasters precipitate the need for urgent relocation; (3) Large-scale movement of agricultural populations to another agricultural area is at best high risk and unlikely to be conducive to permanent transformation of living conditions; (4) As all examples have highlighted, the key question of economic livelihoods in destination areas is not easily resolved; (5) Organized relocation tends to be very expensive; (6) Finally, all current programmes should be voluntary in that participation can in principle be refused ( Foresight, 2011 ).
While all of these recommendations listed in the Foresight Report have relevance and still retain useful lessons to draw on, there are lessons from more recent research that need to be woven into future recommendations for planned relocation. Here we present insights into these, through primarily drawing on experiences from the authors research from Australia and Fiji, as well as the broader literature. It is important to note that these recommendations are by no means exhaustive. Rather, the aim here is to present insights into how our knowledge of relocation has expanded over the last 10 years, and present new insights to consider in future research and policy.
(i) Participation in relocation should be voluntary, and support where possible populations who choose to remain
Ensuring participation in relocation programmes is voluntary was listed as a recommendation in the Foresight report. This recommendation remains relevant today. Within Fiji's Relocation Guidelines, it is stated that relocation is, by definition, a voluntary process ( Government of Fiji, 2018 , p. 6). The importance of relocation plans and policies being voluntary is especially relevant given the checkered history and past of some nations where resettlement and relocation policies and plans have been implemented coercively ( Marter-Kenyon, 2020 ). And further, the most recent IPCC recognizes that significant impacts associated with involuntary displacements and migrations (including relocation) ( IPCC, 2022 ).
While voluntariness is essential, it is not straightforward. It is influenced by a range of factors evidenced through our experiences in both Fiji and Australia. Within Fiji, there were examples across villages of predominantly older generations who sought to remain in place, despite relocation plans, while younger generations opted to relocate to safe locations. This process of younger generations retreating and rebuilding their livelihoods in regions further away from climate risks, while older generations remained despite exposure to climate risks, occurred in multiple villages. In Fiji, there were also examples of entire villages choosing to remain in place. One such example of this is published in this special issue (see Yee et al., 2022a , b ). Yee et al. examines how a strong concept of Vanua (a Fijian term which exemplifies broadly strong attachment and connection to place and people) has resulted in a community resisting relocation despite significant climate risks and being presented with an option to relocate.
In Grantham, Australia, several households chose to remain in the old site despite the relocation program going ahead. This was owing to some dispute over the causes of the flooding and differing perspectives of the likelihood of flooding of such a high magnitude occurring again. Research in an Australian context to date is yet to focus specifically on detailed decision-making behavior related to climate-related relocation options, however does note existing variables that interplay with immobility decision-making. Graham et al. (2018) use a values-based assessment to show that for some people, place attachment is a key factor in people's consideration against relocation using a case study from the Gippsland East coast in Victoria, Australia. Furthermore, the recent release of the Flood Inquiry into the floods in Northern NSW presents mixed results on public intentions to participate in a voluntary buy back scheme with some comments indicating a strong interest in participation, while others cited financial difficulties and an inability to afford to live elsewhere, as well as deep routed connections to community and place ( State of New South Whales, 2022 ).
These experiences from Fiji and Australia indicate that despite diverse socio-cultural, economic, and political contexts, people will, and are, choosing to stay in places of objective high risk, largely given strong connections to place. This is further reinforced from the global literature where factors including age, gender, length of time living in a location, underlying values, previous hazard experiences, and social connections have been shown to influence mobility preferences ( Adams, 2016 ; Graham et al., 2018 ; Seebauer and Winkler, 2020 ; McMichael et al., 2021 ; Farbotko, 2022 ). While it is agreed that relocation should be a voluntary process, how governments and other relevant stakeholders deal with populations who choose to stay in places of high exposure, and what this means for investment in in-situ adaptations such as protection and accommodation, are areas requiring increased attention.
(ii) Strong governance and coordination across actors, at all levels, particularly affected populations
Drawing on examples across Australia and Fiji, the importance of strong participatory governance emerged as a key recommendation. Looking at the governance of relocation process in Grantham, this has been documented and largely viewed as an effective process. Several factors, including having one leading body acting as the face of the relocation process to the community, and a strong and definitive end goal, contributed to this. While there was some contention between layers of government throughout the relocation process, this was not seen to impede the process. This strong coordinated governance allowed the expedition of planning approvals and processes which would otherwise have dragged the processes out by years, instead of the 11 months it took for the first house to be relocated. Effective communication with the community was established early in the relocation process and ensured the building of trust amongst the governing relocation body and the community. This paved the way for effective communication and coordination throughout the life of the relocation planning process. In addition, regular meetings with community members were undertaken to allow affected peoples to express their concerns and have input into the process as it progressed. This effective communication is one of the reasons the Grantham relocation is largely viewed as a success.
On the contrary, in most of the relocation case studies from Fiji, people felt largely that they did not have a voice and were not included in decisions that were being made regarding relocation. This caused frustration and a lack of trust between communities and Government. For example, in Narikoso village in Fiji, original plans were for the entire village to relocate, however only seven households were eventually relocated, which the village members expressed they had no control over: “ It's good to have one big village. If it is seven houses it is not so good. First time they [Government of Fiji] came here they bring the money with them and they told us that all the houses will move over there. And after Winston they came again and told us that it is only seven houses because the money is less. And we just say, ‘not so good” ( Piggott-McKellar and McMichael, 2021 , p. 110).
However, it is important to state that strong and effective participatory governance does not necessitate the management and authority of an external actor in making decisions related to relocation process. Rather, it can mean that relocation is a process that can be undertaken at the local level and governed by internal processes and structures. For example, in Vidawa village in Fiji the community governance structure was used, without any overarching government body, to make decisions in the village around relocation, where houses will be built, and to mobilize the community. This process had resulted in the village deciding that no new houses would be built in the current village and began the clearing of land, and building of new houses, on the hill away from the coast, drawing on government resources where they were available. Other examples of internally driven relocation globally emphasize the findings from Fiji (see Gini et al., 2020 ). While this is by no means stating that government assistance should not be provided, nor prioritized, it does raise important questions around the need to support communities with access to appropriate resources, who have the leadership and governance to manage relocation, and adaptation ( McNamara et al., 2018 ).
(iii) Accounting and planning for socially vulnerable and marginalized groups
The impacts of climate change are most severely experienced across people who are most vulnerable ( Bohle et al., 1994 ; Otto et al., 2017 ). This also is true of adaptation itself, including planned relocation. People who are socially marginalized are those most likely to experience adverse outcomes and even maladaptation because of relocation processes, particularly if these underlying issues are not addressed from the outset. This includes people who do not have a voice in decision-making given cultural and social norms, elderly populations, landless peoples, and those with a disability.
Across examples from Fiji, impacts on socially marginalized groups were evident. In a number of cases, women were largely left out of consultation processes related to relocation given the patriarchal and hierarchical social structures. As such women felt that important aspects of relocation were not considered for them in planning processes. This was evident during fieldwork where discussions with women's groups led to issues being raised related to kitchens not being built in the new houses, and that a women's shop was not built in one village. These added impacts were not isolated to women but also older generations. In Vunidogoloa as the village relocated 2 km inland, older populations are unable to walk the distance back to the old village. As such they have lost a direct form of livelihood in fishing, and connection to the coastline, which is an important part of their everyday livelihood and place-based connection. This loss was specific to older village members as able bodied younger generations are able to retain that connection through walking down to the old village site. In Australia, in Grantham, the strong levels of community engagement, including case workers who worked directly with affected residents, were present throughout the consultation and planning process. This was done with the expressed aim to target individual needs in decision making processes as a way to reduce any adverse outcomes on vulnerable and marginalized groups.
These insights from Fiji and Australia indicate that planning processes can go some way to reduce negative outcomes for marginalized groups. Yet, there is a need for detailed empirical research examining community perspectives and experiences to better understand how planning processes can be more inclusive.
(iv) The identification of relocation sites should be, where appropriate, as close to the original site as possible, or provide an opportunity for people to maintain connection to the original site
Relocating your home and livelihood in response to climate exposure is a significant undertaking and can take a large toll on your life and livelihood. Place based connections, place attachments, social disarticulation, and other anticipated non-economic losses are factors cited as reasons people are reluctant to move ( Seebauer and Winkler, 2020 ; Yee et al., 2022a ). Relocation that occurs over a short geographical distance can help to minimize these. However, while desirable, this is contingent on a range of factors such as having suitable and appropriate land and land tenure arrangements in a location nearby.
All relocation cases from Fiji and Australia examined by the authors have been undertaken over a short distance (within 2 km).
In Vunidologoa in Fiji, the relocation occurred over a 2 km distance from the original site (the longest of all examples). While this has been a disruption to people's sense of culture and place-based connections, especially the older generations who are unable to retain close physical ties to the old site (as discussed above), it has allowed many members of the community to maintain connections to the coast and associated activities including fishing. Further, given the land remains on the village's clan land, this has largely ensured a sense of continuity and connectivity. Within Fiji this was the case in all relocations–villages were able to relocate over a short distance while remaining on clan land or negotiating with neighboring clans. While preferrable, identification of land that is close to the original site is undoubtedly challenging, not least in considering the need for this land to be of reduced climate risk to make relocation viable. Across the Pacific, land tenure is one of the most challenging factors under consideration in relocation planning, as land can be held under varied and sometimes complex systems, including customary ownership ( Campbell, 2010 ). This makes relocation, outside of small-scale movements where villages and communities are able to relocate on their own clan land very challenging and a significant future challenge. Within an Australian context, the relocation in Grantham occurred over a small distance. This was able to occur owing to the availability of adjacent farming land, outside of flood exposure, which the council was able to purchase. This allowed the new dwellings in Grantham to be an extension of the original town. While this challenge was dealt with in Grantham, the question of appropriate land for relocation is one that will remain central to relocation planning across Australia.
Looking to the broader literature, a relevant example where a community had to move a significant distance when relocating is of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana, in the United States. Simms et al. (2021) explore the important role that place connection played in the challenging decision to relocate, and how relocation policy was able to go some way to address and account for this loss. This was achieved through allowing the community to retain access and ownership over the properties being left behind where people can go back and visit, which was critical for the affected community to agree to the relocation process ( Simms et al., 2021 ).
(v) Livelihoods, beyond solely economic livelihoods, should be considered and enhanced in the new site
Having strong options for livelihood development that encompasses multiple dimensions can help reduce the unknown and perceived risks and hurdles associated with relocation decision making for affected populations as well as allowing communities strong development opportunities ( Siders et al., 2019 ). In the Foresight report, the importance, and challenge, of rebuilding economic livelihoods is stated in the recommendation “as all examples have highlighted, the key question of economic livelihoods in destination areas is not easily resolved” ( Foresight, 2011 , p. 179). While economic livelihoods are paramount, it is also relevant to consider the development and support of wider livelihoods in destination locations, outside of purely economic livelihoods. For example, while economic livelihoods are vital, significant adverse impacts can be experienced in the social, cultural, human, natural, physical aspects of affected people's lives and livelihoods.
Across Fiji, there were examples of where people experienced both improved and adverse outcomes on livelihoods post relocation. In the partial planned relocation of Denimanu in Fiji, houses were built and facilities and services such as toilets, water tanks, and electricity were provided which were greatly improved from the previous houses, where these services and facilities were limited. Yet, given only half of the village relocated, challenges associated with social disarticulation were experienced given the division of the village into two. In Vunidologoa, the government went someway to consider broader livelihoods through the planned relocation including alternative livelihood options which were included in the new site (fishponds, pineapple plantations). Additionally, the location of the new village has improved access to transport, and thus schools, health services, and markets. Community members expressed that this improved access to services has significantly improved their daily lives in the few years after the relocation. However, unanticipated negative impacts on livelihoods were later experienced by residents. These included increased access to and consumption of packaged food and alcohol which have impacted health, disruptions to traditional values, and reduced mental wellbeing and loss of place attachment given the village has relocated away from the coastline (for further detail see McMichael and Powell, 2021 ). In Grantham, Australia, there have been no follow up studies examining how relocation has impacted broader livelihoods, making this a critical gap in the literature.
5. Conclusion and future directions
In the seminal Foresight report published in 2011, planned relocation was viewed as a fraught adaptation strategy with limited evidence to its effectiveness and use as an adaptation option ( Foresight, 2011 ). As this research has shown there has been significant growth of research over the last 10 years in relation to planned relocation with this likely to increase further in future years. With this growing body of research have come learnings, lessons, and recommendations which have been summarized and explored through the lens of the authors experiences undertaking research and fieldwork with relocated communities across Australia and Fiji. Importantly, moving into an era where relocation will increasingly be viewed as an option in the adaptation toolbox (albeit an option of last resort), relocation should be seen as having the potential to enhance the livelihoods of all effected people, if planned well with a strong participatory governance model; yet must not be seen as an option that is appropriate and suited to all people, in all places, on the basis of objective high climate risk, but must rather account for individual perspectives and knowledge.
This research shows a shift in research and focus beyond financial considerations of relocation, which were the primary focus of the Foresight report recommendations. While funding and budgets for relocation are essential considerations, especially when looking to the scale that some relocations will incur, and subsequent costs, research and experience has shown that there are broader considerations. For example, impacts associated on people's livelihoods from relocation that need to be accounted for and considered go beyond the financial; social bonds, cultural continuity and connections, and impacts on health and wellbeing are challenging to retain and require thought and planning. This requires strategic and well managed relocation planning that can not only reduce exposure to physical hazards, but use the relocation process as an opportunity to rebuild lives and livelihoods ( Siders et al., 2019 ).
Looking to locations of Fiji and Australia, we see very different contexts for relocation, yet broad lessons have still emerged across the two regions. While there are limited case studies in Australia of planned and executed relocation. Grantham presents an important example of what has been seen as an overall, successful relocation. Looking to the future, planned relocation is likely to play an important role in future land use planning in Australia especially considering the projection and high likelihood of growing climate hazards ( The Bureau of Meteorology CSIRO, 2020 ). This is evidenced from the recent flood events that greatly damaged regions across New South Whales and Queensland and the subsequent buy-back schemes announced in Northern NSW and Southeast Queensland. In Fiji, relocation is emerging as central to adaptation plans and policies with several communities who have already initiated, undertaken and complete relocation, and another 800 communities listed as in need of future possible relocation ( GIZ, 2019 ).
While there has been a growing literature base on planned relocation, most case study examples are still recent, or have limited follow up research and analysis into the long-term implications on lives and livelihoods. The examples drawn on in this research were all visited and studied within a 4-year period of the relocation occurring. Longitudinal studies of relocated communities will help to give insights beyond the relocation process itself, but also into the longer-term implications of relocation to learn best practices and share lessons. Learnings that do emerge should be made available and shared, both the positive and negative outcomes, and the gray in between; as Westoby et al. (2020 , p. 388) argue that within climate adaptation “successes are celebrated, but failures are habitually obscured, leaving a major knowledge base untapped.” Given the significant impacts planned relocations can have on peoples lives and livelihoods, and the likelihood it will be increasingly used as an adaptation strategy, this becomes paramount.
Data availability statement
The data analyzed in this study is subject to the following licenses/restrictions: Several datasets exist from multiple fieldtrips. Requests to access these datasets should be directed at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by University of Melbourne (approval number 1851729.1) and University of Queensland (approval number 20170302). The patients/participants provided their written informed consent to participate in this study.
Conceptualization and writing—original draft preparation: AP-M. Methodology and writing—review and editing: AP-M and KV. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
This research was funded in part through an Australian Research Council Linkage grant (number LP160100941) and an Australian Research Council Discovery grant (DP190100604).
The authors would like to thank Assoc. Prof Karen McNamara (University of Queensland), Assoc. Prof Celia McMichael (University of Melbourne), Prof Patrick Nunn (University of Sunshine Coast), and Honorary Prof Neil Sipe (University of Queensland) who each collaborated on previous and related research which served as important foundation of the work in this paper.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.
1. ^ There are examples of historic community relocation prior to Grantham. One example is Gundagai in New South Whales which was relocated in 1,852 after the deadliest flood event in Australia's history after the town was developed and settled on a flood plain (see State of New South Whales, 2022 ).
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Keywords: planned relocation, managed retreat, adaptation, Foresight Report, Fiji, Australia, climate change
Citation: Piggott-McKellar A and Vella K (2023) Lessons learned and policy implications from climate-related planned relocation in Fiji and Australia. Front. Clim. 5:1032547. doi: 10.3389/fclim.2023.1032547
Received: 30 August 2022; Accepted: 02 February 2023; Published: 02 March 2023.
Copyright © 2023 Piggott-McKellar and Vella. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
*Correspondence: Annah Piggott-McKellar, email@example.com
This article is part of the Research Topic
Climate Migration Research and Policy Connections: Progress Since the Foresight Report
Feature | June 6, 2018
The scientific method and climate change: how scientists know.
Starting in 1958, Charles Keeling used the scientific method to take meticulous measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) at Mauna Loa Observatory in Waimea, Hawaii. This graph, known as the Keeling Curve, shows how atmospheric CO 2 has continued rising since then.
By Holly Shaftel, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The scientific method is the gold standard for exploring our natural world. You might have learned about it in grade school, but here’s a quick reminder: It’s the process that scientists use to understand everything from animal behavior to the forces that shape our planet—including climate change.
“The way science works is that I go out and study something, and maybe I collect data or write equations, or I run a big computer program,” said Josh Willis, principal investigator of NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission and oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “And I use it to learn something about how the world works.”
Using the scientific method, scientists have shown that humans are extremely likely the dominant cause of today’s climate change. The story goes back to the late 1800s, but in 1958, for example, Charles Keeling of the Mauna Loa Observatory in Waimea, Hawaii, started taking meticulous measurements of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the atmosphere, showing the first significant evidence of rapidly rising CO 2 levels and producing the Keeling Curve climate scientists know today.
“The way science works is that I go out and study something, and maybe I collect data or write equations, or I run a big computer program, and I use it to learn something about how the world works.” - Josh Willis, NASA oceanographer and Oceans Melting Greenland principal investigator
Since then, thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers have come to the same conclusion about climate change, telling us that human activities emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, raising Earth’s average temperature and bringing a range of consequences to our ecosystems.
“The weight of all of this information taken together points to the single consistent fact that humans and our activity are warming the planet,” Willis said.
The scientific method’s steps
The exact steps of the scientific method can vary by discipline, but since we have only one Earth (and no “test” Earth), climate scientists follow a few general guidelines to better understand carbon dioxide levels, sea level rise, global temperature and more.
- Form a hypothesis (a statement that an experiment can test)
- Make observations (conduct experiments and gather data)
- Analyze and interpret the data
- Draw conclusions
- Publish results that can be validated with further experiments (rinse and repeat)
As you can see, the scientific method is iterative (repetitive), meaning that climate scientists are constantly making new discoveries about the world based on the building blocks of scientific knowledge.
“The weight of all of this information taken together points to the single consistent fact that humans and our activity are warming the planet." - Josh Willis, NASA oceanographer and Oceans Melting Greenland principal investigator
The scientific method at work
How does the scientific method work in the real world of climate science? Let’s take NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) campaign, a multi-year survey of Greenland’s ice melt that’s paving the way for improved sea level rise estimates, as an example.
- Form a hypothesis OMG hypothesizes that the oceans are playing a major role in Greenland ice loss.
- Make observations Over a five-year period, OMG will survey Greenland by air and ship to collect ocean temperature and salinity (saltiness) data and take ice thinning measurements to help climate scientists better understand how the ice and warming ocean interact with each other. OMG will also collect data on the sea floor’s shape and depth, which determines how much warm water can reach any given glacier.
- Analyze and interpret data As the OMG crew and scientists collect data around 27,000 miles (over 43,000 kilometers) of Greenland coastline over that five-year period, each year scientists will analyze the data to see how much the oceans warmed or cooled and how the ice changed in response.
- Draw conclusions In one OMG study , scientists discovered that many Greenland glaciers extend deeper (some around 1,000 feet, or about 300 meters) beneath the ocean’s surface than once thought, making them quite vulnerable to the warming ocean. They also discovered that Greenland’s west coast is generally more vulnerable than its east coast.
- Publish results Scientists like Willis write up the results, send in the paper for peer review (a process in which other experts in the field anonymously critique the submission), and then those peers determine whether the information is correct and valuable enough to be published in an academic journal, such as Nature or Earth and Planetary Science Letters . Then it becomes another contribution to the well-substantiated body of climate change knowledge, which evolves and grows stronger as scientists gather and confirm more evidence. Other scientists can take that information further by conducting their own studies to better understand sea level rise.
All in all, the scientific method is “a way of going from observations to answers,” NASA terrestrial ecosystem scientist Erika Podest, based at JPL, said. It adds clarity to our way of thinking and shows that scientific knowledge is always evolving.
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Essays on Climate Change
With global warming being a growing problem that affects our atmosphere, you can find research paper topics in climate changing that will offer useful information to readers. When covering topics like this, it is essential to include the effects and problems being caused within our ecosystem. From greenhouse gas emissions to increased levels of ... dioxide, sample essays can provide a wealth of information to use when creating an outline. College essays about climate change for college students include the latest research and statistics that can be used to write about how this is affecting the entire planet. Argumentative essay examples on climate change will provide tips for developing your introduction and factual information to use in a conclusion.
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Deforestation as a Cause of Climate Change
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Research Paper FAQ
What climate change means.
Climate change refers to the transformation of Earth’s weather, regarded as various changes in the usual planet’s climate, such as wind, participation, and temperature. Various human activities cause the change.
What climate change causes?
Climate change brings along various issues such as extreme weather events, heat, floods, and more. In years ahead, things such as an increase in waterborne diseases, diseases transmitted by rodents and insects, poor quality of air, more heat stress are expected to enter the scene.
Why is climate change important?
Climate change became one of the world’s most significant issues. The main reason for that is that human health is vulnerable to all the changes in weather and climate. Extreme weather events and other issues that are expected in the future point out how serious the problem is.
Will climate change ever stop?
Climate change is something that can’t be stopped in a blink of an eye. It is too complex, and it requires a lot of effort, work, and persistence. However, if society stops emitting the greenhouse gases that are causing all the damage, significant improvements would be visible in a few years.
How climate change affects business?
Climate change affects businesses in various ways. Extreme weather various events such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., have a direct impact on every global economic sector. All kinds of issues may arise, from labor challenges, increased costs of insurance, and disturbed supply chains.
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- Published: 27 February 2023
Climate change as a global amplifier of human–wildlife conflict
- Briana Abrahms ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1987-5045 1 ,
- Neil H. Carter ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4399-6384 2 ,
- T. J. Clark-Wolf 1 ,
- Kaitlyn M. Gaynor 3 ,
- Erik Johansson ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1986-2252 1 ,
- Alex McInturff ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4858-1292 4 ,
- Anna C. Nisi ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0286-3187 1 ,
- Kasim Rafiq ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-1551-711X 1 &
- Leigh West ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1447-0586 1
Nature Climate Change ( 2023 ) Cite this article
- Social sciences
Climate change and human–wildlife conflict are both pressing challenges for biodiversity conservation and human well-being in the Anthropocene. Climate change is a critical yet underappreciated amplifier of human–wildlife conflict, as it exacerbates resource scarcity, alters human and animal behaviours and distributions, and increases human–wildlife encounters. We synthesize evidence of climate-driven conflicts occurring among ten taxonomic orders, on six continents and in all five oceans. Such conflicts disrupt both subsistence livelihoods and industrial economies and may accelerate the rate at which human–wildlife conflict drives wildlife declines. We introduce a framework describing distinct environmental, ecological and sociopolitical pathways through which climate variability and change percolate via complex social–ecological systems to influence patterns and outcomes of human–wildlife interactions. Identifying these pathways allows for developing mitigation strategies and proactive policies to limit the impacts of human–wildlife conflict on biodiversity conservation and human well-being in a changing climate.
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All case study data derived from the systematic literature review are available at https://github.com/Abrahms-Lab/Climate-Conflict-Review and archived via Zenodo ( https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo/7502350 ).
All R code used for analyses is available at https://github.com/Abrahms-Lab/Climate-Conflict-Review and archived via Zenodo ( https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo/7502350 ).
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We are grateful to A. Zimmerman and L. Withey for providing early feedback on our manuscript. We thank our institutions for supporting this work. L.W. was supported under an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
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Briana Abrahms, T. J. Clark-Wolf, Erik Johansson, Anna C. Nisi, Kasim Rafiq & Leigh West
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Abrahms, B., Carter, N.H., Clark-Wolf, T.J. et al. Climate change as a global amplifier of human–wildlife conflict. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-023-01608-5
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Climate Change: Evidence and Causes: Update 2020 (2020)
Chapter: conclusion, c onclusion.
This document explains that there are well-understood physical mechanisms by which changes in the amounts of greenhouse gases cause climate changes. It discusses the evidence that the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere have increased and are still increasing rapidly, that climate change is occurring, and that most of the recent change is almost certainly due to emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities. Further climate change is inevitable; if emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, future changes will substantially exceed those that have occurred so far. There remains a range of estimates of the magnitude and regional expression of future change, but increases in the extremes of climate that can adversely affect natural ecosystems and human activities and infrastructure are expected.
Citizens and governments can choose among several options (or a mixture of those options) in response to this information: they can change their pattern of energy production and usage in order to limit emissions of greenhouse gases and hence the magnitude of climate changes; they can wait for changes to occur and accept the losses, damage, and suffering that arise; they can adapt to actual and expected changes as much as possible; or they can seek as yet unproven “geoengineering” solutions to counteract some of the climate changes that would otherwise occur. Each of these options has risks, attractions and costs, and what is actually done may be a mixture of these different options. Different nations and communities will vary in their vulnerability and their capacity to adapt. There is an important debate to be had about choices among these options, to decide what is best for each group or nation, and most importantly for the global population as a whole. The options have to be discussed at a global scale because in many cases those communities that are most vulnerable control few of the emissions, either past or future. Our description of the science of climate change, with both its facts and its uncertainties, is offered as a basis to inform that policy debate.
The following individuals served as the primary writing team for the 2014 and 2020 editions of this document:
- Eric Wolff FRS, (UK lead), University of Cambridge
- Inez Fung (NAS, US lead), University of California, Berkeley
- Brian Hoskins FRS, Grantham Institute for Climate Change
- John F.B. Mitchell FRS, UK Met Office
- Tim Palmer FRS, University of Oxford
- Benjamin Santer (NAS), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- John Shepherd FRS, University of Southampton
- Keith Shine FRS, University of Reading.
- Susan Solomon (NAS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research
- John Walsh, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
- Don Wuebbles, University of Illinois
Staff support for the 2020 revision was provided by Richard Walker, Amanda Purcell, Nancy Huddleston, and Michael Hudson. We offer special thanks to Rebecca Lindsey and NOAA Climate.gov for providing data and figure updates.
The following individuals served as reviewers of the 2014 document in accordance with procedures approved by the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences:
- Richard Alley (NAS), Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University
- Alec Broers FRS, Former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering
- Harry Elderfield FRS, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge
- Joanna Haigh FRS, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College London
- Isaac Held (NAS), NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
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- Jerry Meehl, Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research
- John Pendry FRS, Imperial College London
- John Pyle FRS, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
- Gavin Schmidt, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- Emily Shuckburgh, British Antarctic Survey
- Gabrielle Walker, Journalist
- Andrew Watson FRS, University of East Anglia
The Support for the 2014 Edition was provided by NAS Endowment Funds. We offer sincere thanks to the Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Endowment for NAS Missions for supporting the production of this 2020 Edition.
F OR FURTHER READING
For more detailed discussion of the topics addressed in this document (including references to the underlying original research), see:
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2019: Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate [ https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc ]
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), 2019: Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda [ https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25259 ]
- Royal Society, 2018: Greenhouse gas removal [ https://raeng.org.uk/greenhousegasremoval ]
- U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), 2018: Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States [ https://nca2018.globalchange.gov ]
- IPCC, 2018: Global Warming of 1.5°C [ https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15 ]
- USGCRP, 2017: Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume I: Climate Science Special Reports [ https://science2017.globalchange.gov ]
- NASEM, 2016: Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change [ https://www.nap.edu/catalog/21852 ]
- IPCC, 2013: Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Working Group 1. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis [ https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1 ]
- NRC, 2013: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises [ https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18373 ]
- NRC, 2011: Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts Over Decades to Millennia [ https://www.nap.edu/catalog/12877 ]
- Royal Society 2010: Climate Change: A Summary of the Science [ https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/publications/2010/climate-change-summary-science ]
- NRC, 2010: America’s Climate Choices: Advancing the Science of Climate Change [ https://www.nap.edu/catalog/12782 ]
Much of the original data underlying the scientific findings discussed here are available at:
Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth's climate. The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, with their similar missions to promote the use of science to benefit society and to inform critical policy debates, produced the original Climate Change: Evidence and Causes in 2014. It was written and reviewed by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists. This new edition, prepared by the same author team, has been updated with the most recent climate data and scientific analyses, all of which reinforce our understanding of human-caused climate change.
Scientific information is a vital component for society to make informed decisions about how to reduce the magnitude of climate change and how to adapt to its impacts. This booklet serves as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and others seeking authoritative answers about the current state of climate-change science.
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Essay Example on Climate Change: Causes, Impacts, & Solutions
Climate change is the change of weather patterns of a region which have been in constant evolution over a long period. Climate change can also be referred to as global warming. Global warming can occur naturally or led to occur by certain activities that are done, leading to the concentration of greenhouse gases. To add to that, globalization since back in time has favored global warming. Its impacts have led to the change of weather patterns, which has led to the rise of other problems facing humans. Therefore, this essay discusses globalization as the leading cause of global warming from a scientific and social science lens view, interventions on how to fight global warming, and how globalization can also lead to the invention of ways to control climate change.
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Globalization from a scientific view
Having to look into globalization from a scientific view. Many international firms in the world have been turning to methods of using resources that, in the end, harm the environment. In this case, the results lead to the emission of gasses that are unfriendly in the environment. These gases are the ones that mostly contribute to the possibilities of bringing about global warming. Presence of these gases in the atmosphere block radiations from the earth. This phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse gasses allow radiations from the sun to pass but block radiations from the ground (Lashof & Ahuja, 1990). This increases the temperatures of the atmosphere, thus leading to global warming.
Looking through the lens of chemistry as applied science, one can see that the existence of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere has led to having acid rain. This type of rain has severe impacts when it rains. The acidic particles corrode metals and materials. This calls for institutions and even individuals to invest in replacing the materials.
Acid rain also harms the large farm institutions. The rain changes the composition of soil and bodies of water, making them unfriendly. This poses the risk of losses for such firms. This calls for such institutions to invest heavily in how to deal with the situation (Drori, 2003). Therefore, it is correct to say that globalization has led to the invention of ways that cause harm to the environment, thus having severe consequences.
Therefore, institutions that are influenced by globalization should find alternative ways that do not harm the environment in their method of manufacturing. This can reduce the rate at which greenhouse gasses increase in the atmosphere (Drori, 2003). Another way has machines and vehicles that use solar energy rather than having them emit these harmful gasses into the atmosphere.
Globalization from the lens of Social Sciences View
Looking into history as a social science lens, one can understand that globalization has been a process in constant change. This is because, over time, it has led international firms to adopt techniques that are harmful to the environment by trying to remain at the top as a result of competition. There exist other factors that cause global warming. Most of which lie under globalization. Therefore, it is correct to say that globalization is the leading cause of climate change.
Besides, sociology is also another social science that explains best on people's activities on how they lead to global warming. This helps one understand more about how humans relate to the environment, thus causing global warming (Buttel & Taylor, 1992). Globalization plays a significant role in causing humans to react in a certain way that harms the environment to keep up with the times.
Having to combine the two, globalization has been leading people to behave in a certain way that leads them to harm the environment. Having to look at deforestation as one of their actions, it has led to increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Globalization has also, in a way, led to people to use fossil fuels, which pose a risk in increasing the rate of global warming. Mining is also another human activity that has led to global warming.
Therefore, by having done this, they have been contributing to global warming. This has resulted in the change of weather patterns with time. This change of weather patterns has led to certain places to experience flooding and other droughts. This has impacted health institutions negatively. This is because, during these calamities, there are usually outbreaks of diseases (Drori, 2003). This calls for governments to invest heavily in medications and treatment for the people affected by the diseases.
Therefore, the only solution that exists for the issue of global warming through the social science lens is having to create awareness and educating people on the importance of protecting the environment - enlighting them more on the global warming issue and how to adopt mechanisms that do not contribute in harming the environment.
Therefore it is correct to say that all these causes that have led to climate change are in a way linked to globalization. Understanding globalization as a process in constant evolution since early in the beginning of times, one can see that it forced people and even international firms to always evolve with times. This made them look for production techniques without caring if they had negative impacts on the environment. However, looking into how the causes of climate change can be handled from a different angle, it is clear to see that the solutions can be met due to globalization. Therefore, not only can one blame globalization as the leading cause of climate change, but also try to see what it can do in solving the issue. Globalization has led to inventions of environmentally friendly techniques to fight the problem of global warming.
Barkin, J. S. (2003). The Counterintuitive Relationship between Globalization and Climate Change. Global Environmental Politics, 3(3), 8-13. Doi: 10.1162/152638003322469259
Buttel, F. H., & Taylor, P. J. (1992). Environmental sociology and global environmental change: A critical assessment. Society & Natural Resources, 5(3), 211-230. Doi: 10.1080/08941929209380788
Lashof, D. A., & Ahuja, D. R. (1990). Relative contributions of greenhouse gas emissions to global warming. Nature, 344(6266), 529-531. Doi: 10.1038/344529a0
Drori, G.S. "Science in the modern world polity: institutionalization and globalization." Choice Reviews Online 41, no. 01 (2003), 41-0388-41-0388. Doi:10.5860/choice.41-0388.
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Research Paper On Climate Change
Indirect scientific measurements of atmospheric composition over the last 10000 years have informed the climate change debate.
“Discuss how both direct and indirect scientific measurements of atmospheric composition over the last 10,000 years have informed the climate change debate”.
The Great Warming By Brian Fagan
The Great Warming is a book written by Brian Fagan that encompasses the environment and history pertaining to most of the human race between A.D. 800 and 1300. Not only does the book give a new dimension to world history by looking at climate history, but it also provides the reader with an ominous warning of the impact that climate change may have on the human race in the future. Fagan references many civilizations in the book that were affected by the rise in surface temperatures. He goes in depth with them individually to show just how worldwide this climate change was, how each civilization adapted or failed to adapt, and who the winners and losers were during this medieval warming period.
Why Did The Rise And Fall Of The Mayan Society
In the next few paragraphs, one will see the evidence provided by a variety of archeologists and paleoclimatologists onto how climate change caused the breakdown of the beautiful society.
Dbq Little Ice Age
The passage declares numerus reasons in hope of justifying the real causes of Little Ice Age existence during 1350 till 1900 CE. On the contrary, the lecture challenges all the aforementioned theories by passage and believes inasmuch as the outdated information used by passage all those clarifications are merely sheer implausible misconceptions. In what follows, three major hypotheses and their critics will be delved into nut briefly.
Imaginary Society: Arctic Tundra, Tibet, And South American Region
We know our society settled in the high mountains with chilling temperatures, however with the transition into the Neolithic age we see our world transform as the ice caps recede and climate becomes warmer. Our society; once living in frigid snow are now living in grassy mountains where abundant forest have thrived due to the climate change.
The viking norse colony in greenland lasted for approximately 500 years and vanished with experts today still trying to figure out what caused them to disappear, these are the reasons that are believed to have contributed to their death. It was not one mistake but rather many simple but costly mistakes, many of which are repeated in history. Failing to adapt was a big killer as the clothing recovered from era was not suitable for the climate. This was largely because the norse experienced a “mini ice age” in which the temperature fell by just a few degrees proved to much for the norse vikings.
Influence Of Geography: The Little Ice Age
A climate interval from around 1300 to 1750, with beginning and ending dates varying by geography (Wolfe, 2014), the Little Ice Age was a period of time in which mean annual temperatures decreased by about 0.6C and mountain glaciers expanded across the Northern Hemisphere. This period of time occurred after the Medieval Warm Period, around the Middle Ages, and is followed by the current period of warming (Rafferty & Jackson, 2016). This idea of climate cycles—known as Milankovitch cycles—shows that climate change is not a new phenomenon.
Global Warming: A Look at Both Sides of the Issue Essay
- 13 Works Cited
The first argument examined on the man-made global warning side is that increasing greenhouse gases caused by human activities is causing directly observed climate changes. The first resulting climate change discussed is warming global surface temperature. There has been an increase in global surface temperature of 0.74 degrees C since the late 19th century. In the last 50 years alone the temperature has increased by 0.13 degrees C per decade. North America and Eurasia have seen the largest increase in warmth. However, some areas of the earth have actually cooled some this past century (Easterling & Karl, 2011, para6). After the mid 20th century 70% of the global land mass saw reduced diurnal temperatures. From 1979 to 2005 the maximum and minimum temperatures have shown no change; both indicate warming (Easterling & Karl, 2011, para10). Furthermore, borehole temperatures, snow cover, and glacier recession data all seem to agree with recent warming (Easterling & Karl, 2011, para11).
The Effects Of Climate Change On The United States
Climate change looms large over our rapidly growing and continually changing world. No longer are the adverse effects of this menacing global issue a mere ominous projections, they are starting to become a very concrete reality. Countries are today experiencing rising sea levels, which compromises coastal infrastructure, prolonged drought, squeezing food supply and agricultural productivity, as well as extreme storms. Rising temperatures have already led to vast reductions in the size of the Arctic. There is now no doubt amongst scientists that anthropogenic activity has been the primary catalyst to the
The Great Warming by Brian Fagan claims that environmental changes (most commonly prolonged droughts, El Niños, and La Niñas during the Medieval Warm Period) affect human civilization, including human’s trading abilities, overall movement, and quality of life. He examines the world’s ancient climate warming, known as the Medieval Warming, between the 10th and the 15th centuries, also mentioning the preceding and succeeding centuries. Fagan gathers his research using studies conducted by archaeologists, historians, and paleoclimatologists. Throughout his book, he refers to direct methods to study climate change, such as instrument records and historical documents, and indirect methods, such as ice, deep sea cores, coral records, and tree rings. Fagan digs into the rise and fall of multiple civilizations around the world as an effect of The Medieval Warming Period. As well as examining civilizations across the world, he attempts to connect the climate change patterns during The Medieval Warming Period to the current global warming faced today. The Great Warming discusses positive and negative connections between climate change and human civilizations across the world, starting in Europe and working its way into Asia, North America, South America, Africa, and even covering the arctic ice caps; however, throughout the book, Fagan has a hard time connecting his various ideas back to one main topic and can easily stray from his point about the effects of climate change.
The Effects of Climate Change on Ancient Civilizations Essay
Previous climate change predictions have provided scientists, archaeologist and ecologists with information about the past and future of humans. These indications are backed up by scientific research based off of the physics of the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, land and ice. In addition, many researchers have recently turned their focus to past civilizations and their downfall. With information from Mark Kinver’s “Roman Rise and Fall ‘Recorded in Trees’” studies show that from the demise of the Argaric society to the fall of the Mayan, and Ancient Roman Empire, climate change has played a key role in regards to civilizations collapse and nuclear annihilation.
Are Humans Responsible for Global Warming?
The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) refers to a relatively warm period lasting from about the 10th to the 14th century.2 However, the initial evidence for the MWP was largely based on data3 gathered from Europe, and more recent analyses indicate that the MWP was not a global phenomenon. A number of reconstructions of millennium-scale global temperatures have indicated that the maximum globally averaged temperature during the MWP was not as extreme as present-day temperatures and that the warming was regional rather than global. Perhaps the most well-known of these is that of Michael Mann and colleagues (Nature, 392, 1998, pg. 779). Their reconstruction produced the so-called “hockey stick” graphic that contributed to this conclusion in the 2001 assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: “The…'Medieval Warm Period' appear(s) to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries." The accuracy of the “hockey stick” graphic was widely discussed in the press when the Mann et al. methodology was criticized by McIntyre and McKitrick (Geophys. Res. Lettr, 32, 2005, pg. L03710). Less attention was given to subsequent studies, such as that of Moberg and colleagues (Nature, 433, 2005, pg. 613) and Osborn and Briffa (Science, 311, 2006, pg. 841) that were based on different, independent methodologies but reached conclusions similar to Mann. Observations of melting high altitude glaciers are
Arguments For And Against The Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis
11,700 years ago the geological epoch the Holocene was thought to of began following the Pleistocene epoch, together these time periods make up the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been described as being relatively warm and with a fairly stable climate. Not only this, but it is thought to coincide with the start of agriculture as human populations rose throughout the Holocene technology became more sophisticated aiding the rise of agriculture (Holden, 2012). The early anthropogenic hypothesis was published in 2003 by Professor W.F. Ruddiman, this was a three part hypothesis in which Ruddiman proposed humans reversed natural decreases in CO2 values within the atmosphere by deforestation. That they reversed natural methane decreases after 5,000 years by irrigating rice, they also caused a warming sufficient to prevent a new glaciation within the last several thousand years and during the Holocene (Ruddiman 2005). This hypothesis has attracted a lot of attention with many people both supporting it and criticising it. Throughout this essay I will be exploring the many arguments for and against the early anthropogenic hypothesis and stating whether or not human kind could have prevented the start of an ice age during the Holocene.
Literature Review On Climate Change
It has been observed through various researches that in the last century, average temperatures across the globe increased by over 1.3°F with an increase of more than two times in the Arctic. (Bates, Kundzewicz, Wu, & Palutikof, June 2008). The results of climate change can also be seen in changing precipitation patterns, increases in ocean temperatures, changes in the sea level, and acidity and melting of glaciers and sea ice (USEPA, 2014).
Global Warming Research Paper
You may have heard people talking about how the weather is very different today than it was ten years ago. You may have noticed changes in the weather yourself. The earth's climate has changed many times over millions of years. And you may have heard about Global Warming. You may ask what Global Warming is. I remember the first time I ever saw and heard about Global Warming when I was just a little girl. I was watching the TV and a commercial came on, it was a cartoon with two kids and an adult. They were in the park enjoying the day. The adult started talking about Global Warming, the kids didn’t know what he was talking about, so he fast forward the time and showed them what the earth is going to look like when they are
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Study finds climate change correlated to human conflicts
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By Kylie Corral , buzz Editor March 1, 2023
Climate change is everywhere, and how exactly the rise in temperature affects the world has been an international, pressing issue within political spheres. A recent paper co-authored by a UI professor proposes a new framework for exploring the relationship between climate change and social conflict.
The study’s results, co-written by Ujjal Kumar Mukherjee, Snigdhansu Chatterjee and Benjamin E. Bagozzi, suggest “nuanced relationships between temperature deviations and social conflicts.”
Mukherjee is a professor in Business with a joint appointment in the medical school at the University. The study, titled “ A Bayesian framework for studying climate anomalies and social conflicts ,” is openly available online. Mukherjee explained the thought process behind the study.
“We were talking about the effects of climate change, rising temperatures and the change in the pattern of precipitation, extreme climate events, for example, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes or drought situations,” Mukherjee said. “How does it affect human life and society, especially when you have a globalized environment where all the supply chain is spread all across the globe?”
From that initial idea, Mukherjee said he and his colleagues began a stream of research to see how climate change might cause human conflict, especially in areas of the world where people are still dependent on agriculture production and raw material production such as coal and mineral mining.
“Whenever you have resource constraints, crime, as well as human conflict, increases,” Mukherjee said. “We try to quantify it at a global scale.”
Mukherjee said that while there have been smaller-scale studies, this study is on a much larger scale.
Chatterjee, a professor at the University of Minnesota, also worked on the paper. Chatterjee, however, warned readers to be wary of results.
“I would be cautious in interpreting the results,” Chatterjee said. “So it says that given the data, this is what we are seeing in the data now. Things change, the climate is obviously changing, and political structures are undergoing changes. These are human beings, and these things keep morphing, and so it’s entirely possible that there may be increased violence, increased conflicts because of climate related issues. Or people may learn to adapt (and) learn to live together with each other.”
Chatterjee said the topic of forced migration plays a part in this discussion.
“Particular villages and community living spaces become unbearable because of temperature or lack of water or something else,” Chatterjee said. “They will be forced to migrate, and given how things are all over the world, where would they migrate to?”
Chatterjee said this is what the three researchers anticipate will be the primary cause of conflict.
Mukherjee added that because of all the variables that contribute to what consists of both climate change and civic, social and other conflicts, the data analysis can get complex. Conclusions cannot be readily made by looking at a single correlation between conflict and temperature.
Chatterjee said this data can be used by two types of people: researchers in the future and political actors.
“We propose this model, and this can be used by future researchers in this area,” Chatterjee said. “So in the long run, nations and governments and policymakers need to be aware of it and need to adopt policies that are more climate conducive, right?”
Both Mukherjee and Chatterjee are continuing their research in this field.
“We would like to involve more climate variables that involve more of a causal structure and then have more precise estimates,” Chatterjee said. “So less uncertainty … a more narrow band of answers, especially as we project things into the future, that will be useful both for us, as well as for policymakers.”
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Carbon Dioxide Factor in Climate Change
Climate change refers to long-term changes in temperature and weather patterns. Although these changes can be natural, such as cyclical variations in solar activity, since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change (Tabassum 26). This is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. However, the main man-made factor in climate change is the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Scientists have found that human-initiated processes are one of the main aspects influencing climate change (National Academy of Sciences 5). This was established with the help of a model, which included all facets provoking the increased emission of CO2 gas into the atmosphere. First of all, factors beyond human control, such as solar activity, were included in the climate model. However, the calculations only came together when anthropogenic processes were included in the system. Thus, it became clear that humans played a significant role in climate change. One of the main factors influencing global climate change is solar activity. One solar cycle lasts for eleven years, and during that cycle, the solar energy output can change. These changes affect ozone concentrations, temperatures, and winds in the stratosphere.
Changes in these indicators also affect changes in the Earth’s climate. However, there have been no significant changes in solar energy over the past century. From this, one can conclude that the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, which affects climate change, is anthropogenic, in other words, caused by humans. Thus, the sun has no direct influence on climate changes on the Earth. The problem of increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere is very acute today. According to the latest measurements, it is now almost 400 ppm, the highest level in several million years (National Academy of Sciences 9). For the last 800,000 years until the 20th century, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere remained between 170 and 300 ppm. The last time the concentration approached the 400 ppm mark was three to five million years ago.
The highest CO2 concentration was recorded about 50 million years ago and reached 1000ppm. There was almost no ice back then, and the sea level was much higher than it is today. Despite global warming, it still snows in many places around the globe during cold winters. The reason for this is that warming affects changes in atmospheric circulation. Because of these changes, the wind currents also change, bringing colder winters and menacing clouds. Thus, some places can have quite cold winters, even during a warming period.
In addition to atmospheric processes, the increase in carbon dioxide also affects the oceans. Concentrations of CO2 dissolve in water to form acid, which lowers the pH of the ocean. In acidic water, many species of marine organisms change. They are also deprived of some nutrients, which leads to the speciation of competition between species and, as a consequence, disruption of the food chain. Scientists predict that the effects of global warming and the greenhouse effect on the climate system will intensify in the coming years (National Academy of Sciences 22). Accordingly, both land and seas, and oceans will be affected. Temperatures will rise everywhere, and winters will become warmer and shorter. However, it is difficult to give an unambiguous answer to climate change because, to predict it, we need to know the exact values of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere in the coming years.
To summarize, increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have a profound effect on global warming. In turn, it affects the length of the seasons and the increase in the total temperature of the Earth. Not only the land but also the ocean suffers because of CO2 – many sea creatures are losing their regular appearance due to a decrease in acidity. Thus, increasing CO2 concentration is one of the main threats provoking global warming.
National Academy of Sciences. Climate Change: Evidence and Causes . The National Academies Press, 2014. Web.
Tabassum, Nowrin. The Politics of Climate Change Knowledge: Labelling Climate Change-induced Uprooted People . Routledge, 2022. Web.
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