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Main article: Renewable energy

Solar energy is the energy derived directly from the Sun. Along with nuclear energy, it is the
most abundant source of energy on Earth. The fastest growing type of alternative energy[1],
increasing at 50 percent a year, is the photovoltaic cell, which converts sunlight directly into
electricity.[2] The Sun yearly delivers more than 10,000 times the energy that humans currently
Wind power is derived from uneven heating of the Earth's surface from the Sun and the warm
core. Most modern wind power is generated in the form of electricity by converting the rotation
of turbine blades into electrical current by means of an electrical generator. In windmills (a much
older technology) wind energy is used to turn mechanical machinery to do physical work, like
crushing grain or pumping water.
Hydropower is energy derived from the movement of water in rivers and oceans (or other energy
differentials), can likewise be used to generate electricity using turbines, or can be used
mechanically to do useful work. It is a very common resource.
Geothermal power directly harnesses the natural flow of heat from the ground. The available
energy from natural decay of radioactive elements in the Earth's crust and mantle is
approximately equal to that of incoming solar energy.
Alcohol derived from corn, sugar cane, switchgrass, etc. is also a renewable source of energy.
Similarly, oils from plants and seeds can be used as a substitute for non-renewable diesel.
Methane is also considered as a renewable source of energy.
[edit] Renewable materials
Further information: bioplastics and bioasphalt

Total solar (left), wind, hydropower and geothermal energy resources compared to global energy
consumption (lower right).
[edit] Agricultural products
Techniques in agriculture which allow for minimal or controlled environmental damage qualify
as sustainable agriculture. Products (foods, chemicals, biofuels, etc) from this type of agriculture
may be considered "sustainable" when processing, logistics, etc. also have sustainable
Similarly, forest products such as lumber, plywood, paper and chemicals, can be renewable
resources when produced by sustainable forestry techniques.
[edit] Water
Further information: Water resources
Water can be considered a renewable material (also non-renewable) when carefully controlled
usage, treatment, and release are followed. If not, it would become a non-renewable resource at
that location. For example, groundwater could be removed from an aquifer at a rate greater than
the sustainable recharge. Removal of water from the pore spaces may cause permanent
compaction (subsidence) that cannot be renewed.

Global warming
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For past climate change, see Paleoclimatology and Geologic temperature record.

Global mean surface temperature difference relative to the 1961–1990 average

Comparison of ground based (blue) and satellite based (red: UAH; green: RSS)
records of temperature variations since 1979. Trends plotted since January 1982.
Mean surface temperature change for the period 2000 to 2009 relative to the
average temperatures from 1951 to 1980.[1]

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans
since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the 2007 Fourth
Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface
temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 20th century.[2][A] Most of the
observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by
increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which result from human activity such as the
burning of fossil fuel and deforestation.[3]Global dimming, a result of increasing concentrations
of atmospheric aerosols that block sunlight from reaching the surface, has partially countered the
effects of warming induced by greenhouse gases.
Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface
temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century.[2] The
uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse
gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. An
increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and
pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropicaldeserts.[4] Warming is
expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers,
permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of
extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and
related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these
regional variations is uncertain.[5] Another major[6][7] worldwide concomitant of global warming,
and one which is presently happening as well as being predicted to continue, is ocean
acidification, which is likewise a result of contemporary increases in atmospheric carbon
The scientific consensus is that anthropogenic global warming is occurring.[8][9][10][B] Nevertheless,
political and public debate continues. The Kyoto Protocol is aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas
concentration to prevent a "dangerous anthropogenic interference".[11] As of November 2009, 187
states had signed and ratified the protocol.[12]

• 1Temperature changes
• 2External forcings
○ 2.1Greenhouse gases
○ 2.2Aerosols and soot
○ 2.3Solar variation
• 3Feedback
• 4Climate models
• 5Attributed and expected effects
○ 5.1Natural systems
○ 5.2Ecological systems
○ 5.3Social systems
• 6Responses to global warming
○ 6.1Mitigation
○ 6.2Adaptation
• 7Views on global warming
○ 7.1Politics
○ 7.2Public opinion
○ 7.3Other views
• 8Etymology
• 9See also
• 10Notes
• 11References
• 12Further reading
• 13External links

Temperature changes
Main article: Temperature record
Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions,
each smoothed on a decadal scale, with the actual recorded temperatures overlaid
in black.

Evidence for warming of the climate system includes observed increases in global average air
and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.
The most common measure of global warming is the trend in globally averaged
temperature near the Earth's surface. Expressed as a linear trend, this temperature rose by
0.74 ± 0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005. The rate of warming over the last half of that period
was almost double that for the period as a whole (0.13 ± 0.03 °C per decade, versus 0.07 °C ±
0.02 °C per decade). The urban heat island effect is estimated to account for about 0.002 °C of
warming per decade since 1900.[18] Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased
between 0.13 and 0.22 °C (0.22 and 0.4 °F) per decade since 1979, according to satellite
temperature measurements. Temperature is believed to have been relatively stable over the one
or two thousand years before 1850, with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval
Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.[19]
Estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the National Climatic Data
Center show that 2005 was the warmest year since reliable, widespread instrumental
measurements became available in the late 1800s, exceeding the previous record set in 1998 by a
few hundredths of a degree.[20][21] Estimates prepared by the World Meteorological Organization
and the Climatic Research Unit show 2005 as the second warmest year, behind 1998.[22][23]
Temperatures in 1998 were unusually warm because the strongest El Niño in the past century
occurred during that year.[24] Global temperature is subject to short-term fluctuations that overlay
long term trends and can temporarily mask them. The relative stability in temperature from 2002
to 2009 is consistent with such an episode.[25][26]
Temperature changes vary over the globe. Since 1979, land temperatures have increased about
twice as fast as ocean temperatures (0.25 °C per decade against 0.13 °C per decade).[27] Ocean
temperatures increase more slowly than land temperatures because of the larger effective heat
capacity of the oceans and because the ocean loses more heat by evaporation.[28] The Northern
Hemisphere warms faster than the Southern Hemisphere because it has more land and because it
has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea-ice cover subject to ice-albedo feedback. Although
more greenhouse gases are emitted in the Northern than Southern Hemisphere this does not
contribute to the difference in warming because the major greenhouse gases persist long enough
to mix between hemispheres.[29]
The thermal inertia of the oceans and slow responses of other indirect effects mean that climate
can take centuries or longer to adjust to changes in forcing. Climate commitment studies indicate
that even if greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.5 °C
(0.9 °F) would still occur.[30]
External forcings
External forcing refers to processes external to the climate system (though not necessarily
external to Earth) that influence climate. Climate responds to several types of external forcing,
such as radiative forcing due to changes in atmospheric composition (mainly greenhouse gas
concentrations), changes in solar luminosity, volcanic eruptions, and variations in Earth's orbit
around the Sun.[31]Attribution of recent climate change focuses on the first three types of forcing.
Orbital cycles vary slowly over tens of thousands of years and thus are too gradual to have
caused the temperature changes observed in the past century.
Greenhouse gases
Main articles: Greenhouse effect, Radiative forcing, and Atmospheric CO2

Greenhouse effect schematic showing energy flows between space, the

atmosphere, and earth's surface. Energy exchanges are expressed in watts per
square meter (W/m2).

Recent atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increases. Monthly CO2 measurements

display seasonal oscillations in overall yearly uptrend; each year's maximum occurs
during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring, and declines during its growing
season as plants remove some atmospheric CO2.

The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by
gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. It was proposed by
Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896.[32]
The question in terms of global warming is how the strength of the presumed greenhouse effect
changes when human activity increases the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the
Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F).[33][C]
The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36–70 percent of the
greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9–26 percent; methane (CH4), which
causes 4–9 percent; and ozone (O3), which causes 3–7 percent.[34][35][36] Clouds also affect the
radiation balance, but they are composed of liquid water or ice and so have different effects on
radiation from water vapor.
Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere, leading to increased radiative forcing from CO2, methane, tropospheric ozone,
CFCs and nitrous oxide. The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and
148% respectively since 1750.[37] These levels are much higher than at any time during the last
650,000 years, the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores.[38][39][40] Less
direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values higher than this were last seen about 20
million years ago.[41]Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO2
from human activity over the past 20 years. Most of the rest is due to land-use change,
particularly deforestation.[42]
Over the last three decades of the 20th century, GDPper capita and population growth were the
main drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions.[43] CO2 emissions are continuing to rise
due to the burning of fossil fuels and land-use change.[44][45]Emissions scenarios, estimates of
changes in future emission levels of greenhouse gases, have been projected that depend upon
uncertain economic, sociological, technological, and natural developments.[46] In most scenarios,
emissions continue to rise over the century, while in a few, emissions are reduced.[47][48] These
emission scenarios, combined with carbon cycle modelling, have been used to produce estimates
of how atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will change in the future. Using the six
IPCC SRES "marker" scenarios, models suggest that by the year 2100, the atmospheric
concentration of CO2 could range between 541 and 970 ppm.[49] This is an increase of 90-250%
above the concentration in the year 1750. Fossil fuel reserves are sufficient to reach these levels
and continue emissions past 2100 if coal, tar sands or methane clathrates are extensively
The destruction of stratospheric ozone by chlorofluorocarbons is sometimes mentioned in
relation to global warming. Although there are a few areas of linkage, the relationship between
the two is not strong. Reduction of stratospheric ozone has a cooling influence on the entire
troposphere, but a warming influence on the surface.[51] Substantial ozone depletion did not occur
until the late 1970s.[52]Ozone in the troposphere (the lowest part of the Earth's atmosphere) does
contribute to surface warming.[53]
Aerosols and soot

Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. The
climatic impacts from aerosol forcing could have a large effect on climate through
the indirect effect.

Global dimming, a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's
surface, has partially counteracted global warming from 1960 to the present.[54] The main cause
of this dimming is aerosols produced by volcanoes and pollutants. These aerosols exert a cooling
effect by increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight. The effects of the products of fossil fuel
combustion—CO2 and aerosols—have largely offset one another in recent decades, so that net
warming has been due to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane.[55]
Radiative forcing due to aerosols is temporally limited due to wet deposition which causes
aerosols to have an atmospheric lifetime of one week. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of a century
or more, and as such, changes in aerosol concentrations will only delay climate changes due to
carbon dioxide.[56]
In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, aerosols have
indirect effects on the radiation budget.[57] Sulfate aerosols act as cloud condensation nuclei and
thus lead to clouds that have more and smaller cloud droplets. These clouds reflect solar
radiation more efficiently than clouds with fewer and larger droplets.[58] This effect also causes
droplets to be of more uniform size, which reduces growth of raindrops and makes the cloud
more reflective to incoming sunlight.[59] Indirect effects are most noticeable in marine stratiform
clouds, and have very little radiative effect on convective clouds. Aerosols, particularly indirect
effects, represent the largest uncertainty in radiative forcing.[60]
Soot may cool or warm the surface, depending on whether it is airborne or deposited.
Atmospheric soot aerosols directly absorb solar radiation, which heats the atmosphere and cools
the surface. In isolated areas with high soot production, such as rural India, as much as 50% of
surface warming due to greenhouse gases may be masked by atmospheric brown clouds.[61]
Atmospheric soot always contributes additional warming to the climate system. When deposited,
especially on glaciers or on ice in arctic regions, the lower surface albedo can also directly heat
the surface.[62] The influences of aerosols, including black carbon, are most pronounced in the
tropics and sub-tropics, particularly in Asia, while the effects of greenhouse gases are dominant
in the extratropics and southern hemisphere.[63]
Solar variation
Main article: Solar variation

Solar variation over the last thirty years.

Variations in solar output have been the cause of past climate changes.[64] The consensus among
climate scientists is that changes in solar forcing probably had a slight cooling effect in recent
decades. This result is less certain than some others, with a few papers suggesting a warming
Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways. While both increased
solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are expected to warm the troposphere, an increase
in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase in greenhouse gases should cool
the stratosphere.[31] Observations show that temperatures in the stratosphere have been cooling
since 1979, when satellite measurements became available. Radiosonde (weather balloon) data
from the pre-satellite era show cooling since 1958, though there is greater uncertainty in the early
radiosonde record.[68]
A related hypothesis, proposed by Henrik Svensmark, is that magnetic activity of the sun deflects
cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation nuclei and thereby affect
the climate.[69] Other research has found no relation between warming in recent decades and
cosmic rays.[70][71] The influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover is about a factor of 100 lower than
needed to explain the observed changes in clouds or to be a significant contributor to present-day
climate change.[72]
Main article: Climate change feedback

Feedback is a process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity, and the change
in the second quantity in turn changes the first. Positive feedback amplifies the change in the first
quantity while negative feedback reduces it. Feedback is important in the study of global
warming because it may amplify or diminish the effect of a particular process. The main positive
feedback in global warming is the tendency of warming to increase the amount of water vapor in
the atmosphere, a significant greenhouse gas. The main negative feedback is radiative cooling,
which increases as the fourth power of temperature; the amount of heat radiated from the Earth
into space increases with the temperature of Earth's surface and atmosphere. Imperfect
understanding of feedbacks is a major cause of uncertainty and concern about global warming.
Climate models
Main article: Global climate model

The main tools for projecting future climate changes are mathematical models based on physical
principles including fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and radiative transfer. Although they
attempt to include as many processes as possible, simplifications of the actual climate system are
inevitable because of the constraints of available computer power and limitations in knowledge
of the climate system. All modern climate models are in fact combinations of models for
different parts of the Earth. These include an atmospheric model for air movement, temperature,
clouds, and other atmospheric properties; an ocean model that predicts temperature, salt content,
and circulation of ocean waters; models for ice cover on land and sea; and a model of heat and
moisture transfer from soil and vegetation to the atmosphere. Some models also include
treatments of chemical and biological processes.[73] Warming due to increasing levels of
greenhouse gases is not an assumption of the models; rather, it is an end result from the
interaction of greenhouse gases with radiative transfer and other physical processes.[74] Although
much of the variation in model outcomes depends on the greenhouse gas emissions used as
inputs, the temperature effect of a specific greenhouse gas concentration (climate sensitivity)
varies depending on the model used. The representation of clouds is one of the main sources of
uncertainty in present-generation models.[75]
Global climate model projections of future climate most often have used estimates of greenhouse
gas emissions from the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). In addition to
human-caused emissions, some models also include a simulation of the carbon cycle; this
generally shows a positive feedback, though this response is uncertain. Some observational
studies also show a positive feedback.[76][77][78] Including uncertainties in future greenhouse gas
concentrations and climate sensitivity, the IPCC anticipates a warming of 1.1 °C to 6.4 °C
(2.0 °F to 11.5 °F) by the end of the 21st century, relative to 1980–1999.[2]
Models are also used to help investigate the causes of recent climate change by comparing the
observed changes to those that the models project from various natural and human-derived
causes. Although these models do not unambiguously attribute the warming that occurred from
approximately 1910 to 1945 to either natural variation or human effects, they do indicate that the
warming since 1970 is dominated by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.[31]
The physical realism of models is tested by examining their ability to simulate current or past
climates.[79] Current climate models produce a good match to observations of global temperature
changes over the last century, but do not simulate all aspects of climate.[42] Not all effects of
global warming are accurately predicted by the climate models used by the IPCC. For example,
observed Arctic shrinkage has been faster than that predicted.[80]
Attributed and expected effects
Main articles: Effects of global warming and Regional effects of global warming

Global warming may be detected in natural, ecological or social systems as a change having
statistical significance.[81] Attribution of these changes e.g., to natural or human activities, is the
next step following detection.[82]
Natural systems
Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. In
the 1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance,
reported to the WGMS and the NSIDC.

Global warming has been detected in a number of systems. Some of these changes, e.g., based on
the instrumental temperature record, have been described in the section on temperature changes.
Rising sea levels and observed decreases in snow and ice extent are consistent with warming.[17]
Most of the increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is, with high
probability,[D] atttributable to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations.[83]
Even with current policies to reduce emissions, global emissions are still expected to continue to
grow over the coming decades.[84] Over the course of the 21st century, increases in emissions at or
above their current rate would very likely induce changes in the climate system larger than those
observed in the 20th century.
In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, across a range of future emission scenarios, model-based
estimates of sea level rise for the end of the 21st century (the year 2090-2099, relative to 1980-
1999) range from 0.18 to 0.59 m. These estimates, however, were not given a likelihood due to a
lack of scientific understanding, nor was an upper bound given for sea level rise. Over the course
of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in sea level rise of 4–6 m or more.

Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land, with most
warming at high northern latitudes, and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of the
North Atlantic Ocean.[84] Snow cover area and sea ice extent are expected to decrease. The
frequency of hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy precipitation will very likely increase.
Ecological systems
In terrestrial ecosystems, the earlier timing of spring events, and poleward and upward shifts in
plant and animal ranges, have been linked with high confidence to recent warming.[17] Future
climate change is expected to particularly affect certain ecosystems, including tundra,
mangroves, and coral reefs.[84] It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher
atmospheric CO2 levels, combined with higher global temperatures.[86] Overall, it is expected that
climate change will result in the extinction of many species and reduced diversity of ecosystems.

Social systems
There is some evidence of regional climate change affecting systems related to human activities,
including agricultural and forestry management activities at higher latitudes in the Northern
Hemisphere.[17] Future climate change is expected to particularly affect some sectors and systems
related to human activities.[84]Water resources may be stressed in some dry regions at mid-
latitudes, the dry tropics, and areas that depend on snow and ice melt. Reduced water availability
may affect agriculture in low latitudes. Low-lying coastal systems are vulnerable to sea level rise
and storm surge. Human health in populations with limited capacity to adapt to climate change.
It is expected that some regions will be particularly affected by climate change, including the
Arctic, Africa, small islands, and Asian and African megadeltas. Some people, such as the poor,
young children, and the elderly, are particularly at risk, even in high-income areas.
Responses to global warming
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an approach to mitigation. Emissions may be
sequestered from fossil fuel power plants, or removed during processing in
hydrogen production. When used on plants, it is known as bio-energy with carbon
capture and storage.

Main article: Global warming mitigation

Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. The IPCC
defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or enhance the
capacity of carbon sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere.[88] Many countries, both
developing and developed, are aiming to use cleaner, less polluting, technologies.[89] Use of these
technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. Policies
include targets for emissions reductions, increased use of renewable energy, and increased
energy efficiency. Studies indicate substantial potential for future reductions in emissions.[90]
Since even in the most optimistic scenario, fossil fuels are going to be used for years to come,
mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage, a process that traps CO2 produced by
factories and gas or coalpower stations and then stores it, usually underground.[91]
Main article: Adaptation to global warming

Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change may
be planned, e.g., by local or national government, or spontaneous, i.e., done privately without
government intervention.[92] The ability to adapt is closely linked to social and economic
development.[90] Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate
change. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis. The barriers, limits, and costs
of future adaptation are not fully understood.
Another policy response is engineering of the climate (geoengineering). This policy response is
sometimes grouped together with mitigation.[93] Geoengineering is largely unproven, and reliable
cost estimates for it have not yet been published.[94]
Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC).[95] The ultimate objective of the Convention is to prevent "dangerous" human
interference of the climate system.[96] As is stated in the Convention, this requires that GHGs are
stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change,
food production is not threatened, and economic development can proceed in a sustainable
The UNFCCC recognizes differences among countries in their responsibility to act on climate
change.[97] In the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC, most developed countries (listed in Annex I of
the treaty) took on legally binding commitments to reduce their emissions.[98] Policy measures
taken in response to these commitments have reduced emissions.[99] For many developing (non-
Annex I) countries, reducing poverty is their overriding aim.[100]
At the 15th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, held in 2009 at Copenhagen, several UNFCCC
Parties produced the Copenhagen Accord.[101] Parties agreeing with the Accord aim to limit the
future increase in global mean temperature to below 2 °C.[102]
Views on global warming
Main articles: Global warming controversy and Politics of global warming

See also: Scientific opinion on climate change, Climate change consensus, and
Climate change controversy

Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2000, including land-use change.

Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2000, including land-use change.

There are different views over what the appropriate policy response to climate change should be.
These competing views weigh the benefits of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases
against the costs. In general, it seems likely that climate change will impose greater damages and
risks in poorer regions.[105]
Developing and developed countries have made different arguments over who should bear the
burden of costs for cutting emissions. Developing countries often concentrate on per capita
emissions, that is, the total emissions of a country divided by its population.[106] Per capita
emissions in the industrialized countries are typically as much as ten times the average in
developing countries.[107]This is used to make the argument that the real problem of climate
change is due to the profligate and unsustainable lifestyles of those living in rich countries.[106]
On the other hand, commentators from developed countries more often point out that it is total
emissions that matter.[106]In 2008, developing countries made up around half of the world's total
emissions of CO2 from cement production and fossil fuel use.[108]
The Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005, sets legally binding emission limitations for
most developed countries.[98] Developing countries are not subject to limitations. This exemption
led the U.S. and Australia to decide not to ratify the treaty.[109][110] At the time, almost all world
leaders expressed their disappointment over President Bush's decision.[110] Australia has since
ratified the Kyoto protocol.[111]
Public opinion
In 2007–2008 Gallup Polls surveyed 127 countries. Over a third of the world's population was
unaware of global warming, with people in developing countries less aware than those in
developed, and those in Africa the least aware. Of those aware, Latin America leads in belief that
temperature changes are a result of human activities while Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle
East, and a few countries from the Former Soviet Union lead in the opposite belief.[112] In the
Western world, opinions over the concept and the appropriate responses are divided. Nick
Pidgeon of Cardiff University finds that "results show the different stages of engagement[clarification
about global warming on each side of the Atlantic"; where Europe debates the appropriate
responses while the United States debates whether climate change is happening.[113][114][vague][dubious–

Other views
Most scientists accept that humans are contributing to observed climate change.[44][115] National
science academies have called on world leaders for policies to cut global emissions.[116]There are,
however, some scientists and non-scientists who question aspects of climate change science.[117]

Organizations such as the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, conservative

commentators, and companies such as ExxonMobil have challenged IPCC climate change
scenarios, funded scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus, and provided their own
projections of the economic cost of stricter controls.[119][120][121][122] Environmental organizations
and public figures have emphasized changes in the current climate and the risks they entail,
while promoting adaptation to changes in infrastructural needs and emissions reductions.[123]
Some fossil fuel companies have scaled back their efforts in recent years,[124] or called for
policies to reduce global warming.[125]
The term global warming was probably first used in its modern sense on 8 August 1975 in a
science paper by Wally Broecker in the journal Science called "Are we on the brink of a
pronounced global warming?".[126][127][128] Broecker's choice of words was new and represented a
significant recognition that the climate was warming, previously the phrasing used by scientists
was "inadvertent climate modification," because while it was recognized humans could change
the climate, no one was sure which direction it was going.[129] The National Academy of Sciences
first used global warming in a 1979 paper called the Charney Report, it said: "if carbon dioxide
continues to increase, [we find] no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason
to believe that these changes will be negligible."[130] The report made a distinction between
referring to surface temperature changes as global warming, while referring to other changes
caused by increased CO2 as climate change.[129] This distinction is still often used in science
reports, with global warming meaning surface temperatures, and climate change meaning other
changes (increased storms, etc..)[129]
Global warming became more widely popular after 1988 when NASA scientist James E. Hansen
used the term in a testimony to Congress.[129] He said: "global warming has reached a level such
that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the
greenhouse effect and the observed warming."[131] His testimony was widely reported and
afterward global warming was commonly used by the press and in public discourse.[129]
See also
Global warming

• Glossary of climate change

• Index of climate change articles
• History of climate change science

A. ^ Increase is for years 1905 to 2005. Global surface temperature is defined in
the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report as the average of near-surface air
temperature over land and sea surface temperature. These error bounds are
constructed with a 90% confidence interval.
B. ^ The 2001 joint statement was signed by the national academies of science
of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, the People's Republic of
China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Sweden, and the UK. The 2005 statement added Japan, Russia, and
the U.S. The 2007 statement added Mexico and South Africa. The Network of
African Science Academies, and the Polish Academy of Sciences have issued
separate statements. Professional scientific societies include American
Astronomical Society, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical
Union, American Institute of Physics, American Meteorological Society,
American Physical Society, American Quaternary Association, Australian
Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Canadian Foundation for Climate
and Atmospheric Sciences, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic
Society, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, European Geosciences
Union, European Science Foundation, Geological Society of America,
Geological Society of Australia, Geological Society of London-Stratigraphy
Commission, InterAcademy Council, International Union of Geodesy and
Geophysics, International Union for Quaternary Research, National
Association of Geoscience Teachers, National Research Council (US), Royal
Meteorological Society, and World Meteorological Organization.
C. ^ Note that the greenhouse effect produces an average worldwide
temperature increase of about 33 °C (59 °F) compared to black body
predictions without the greenhouse effect, not an average surface
temperature of 33 °C (91 °F). The average worldwide surface temperature is
about 14 °C (57 °F).
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Further reading
• Association of British Insurers (2005–06) (PDF). Financial Risks of Climate
• Ammann, Caspar; et al. (2007). "Solar influence on climate during the past
millennium: Results from transient simulations with the NCAR Climate
Simulation Model" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of
the United States of America104 (10): 3713–3718.
doi:10.1073/pnas.0605064103. PMID 17360418. PMC 1810336.
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/104/10/3713.pdf. "Simulations with only
natural forcing components included yield an early 20th century peak
warming of ≈0.2 °C (≈1950 AD), which is reduced to about half by the end of
the century because of increased volcanism".
• Barnett, TP; Adam, JC; Lettenmaier, DP; Adam, J. C.; Lettenmaier, D. P. (2005-
11-17). "Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-
dominated regions" (abstract). Nature438 (7066): 303–309.
doi:10.1038/nature04141. PMID 16292301.
• Behrenfeld, MJ; O'malley, RT; Siegel, DA; Mcclain, CR; Sarmiento, JL; Feldman,
GC; Milligan, AJ; Falkowski, PG et al.; et al. (2006-12-07). "Climate-driven
trends in contemporary ocean productivity" (PDF). Nature444 (7120): 752–
755. doi:10.1038/nature05317. PMID 17151666.
• Choi, Onelack; Fisher, Ann (May 2005). "The Impacts of Socioeconomic
Development and Climate Change on Severe Weather Catastrophe Losses:
Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) and the U.S.". Climate Change58 (1–2): 149–170.
• Dyurgerov, Mark B.; Meier, Mark F. (2005) (PDF). Glaciers and the Changing
Earth System: a 2004 Snapshot. Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
Occasional Paper #58. ISSN 0069-6145.
• Emanuel, K (2005-08-04). "Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones
over the past 30 years." (PDF). Nature436 (7051): 686–688.
doi:10.1038/nature03906. PMID 16056221.
• Hansen, James; et al. (2005-06-03). "Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation
and Implications" (PDF). Science308 (5727): 1431–1435.
doi:10.1126/science.1110252. PMID 15860591.
• Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Hmelo, Laura R.; Sylva, Sean P. (2003-02-21). "Molecular
Fossil Record of Elevated Methane Levels in Late Pleistocene Coastal Waters".
Science299 (5610): 1214–1217. doi:10.1126/science.1079601.
PMID 12595688.
• Hirsch, Tim (2006-01-11). "Plants revealed as methane source". BBC.
• Hoyt, Douglas V.; Schatten, Kenneth H. (1993–11). "A discussion of plausible
solar irradiance variations, 1700–1992". Journal of Geophysical Research98
(A11): 18,895–18,906. doi:10.1029/93JA01944. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-
• "Climate Change: Adapting to the inevitable" (PDF). Institution of Mechanical
Engineers. http://www.imeche.org/NR/rdonlyres/FA401F02-3193-4A19-826A-
3FEEFB89DEDE/0/ClimateChangeAdaptationReportIMechE.pdf. Retrieved
• Karnaukhov, A. V. (2001). "Role of the Biosphere in the Formation of the
Earth’s Climate: The Greenhouse Catastrophe" (PDF). Biophysics46 (6).
• Kenneth, James P.; et al. (2003-02-14). Methane Hydrates in Quaternary
Climate Change: The Clathrate Gun Hypothesis. American Geophysical Union.
• Keppler, Frank; et al. (2006-01-18). "Global Warming – The Blame Is not with
the Plants". Max Planck Society.
• Lean, Judith L.; Wang, Y.M.; Sheeley, N.R. (2002–12). "The effect of increasing
solar activity on the Sun's total and open magnetic flux during multiple
cycles: Implications for solar forcing of climate" (abstract). Geophysical
Research Letters29 (24): 2224. doi:10.1029/2002GL015880.
• Lerner, K. Lee; Lerner, K. Lee; Wilmoth, Brenda (2006-07-26). Environmental
issues: essential primary sources. Thomson Gale. ISBN 1414406258.
• Muscheler, Raimund, R; Joos, F; Müller, SA; Snowball, I; et al. (2005-07-28).
"Climate: How unusual is today's solar activity?" (PDF). Nature436 (7012):
1084–1087. doi:10.1038/nature04045. PMID 16049429.
• Oerlemans, J. (2005-04-29). "Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier
Records" (PDF). Science308 (5722): 675–677. doi:10.1126/science.1107046.
PMID 15746388. http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU05/04572/EGU05-J-
• Purse, BV; Mellor, PS; Rogers, DJ; Samuel, AR; Mertens, PP; Baylis, M; et al.
(February 2005). "Climate change and the recent emergence of bluetongue in
Europe" (abstract). Nature Reviews Microbiology3 (2): 171–181.
doi:10.1038/nrmicro1090. PMID 15685226.
• Revkin, Andrew C (2005-11-05). "Rise in Gases Unmatched by a History in
Ancient Ice". The New York Times.
• Ruddiman, William F. (2005-12-15). Earth's Climate Past and Future. New
York: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7167-3741-8.
• Ruddiman, William F. (2005-08-01). Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How
Humans Took Control of Climate. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
ISBN 0-691-12164-8.
• Solanki, SK; Usoskin, IG; Kromer, B; Schüssler, M; Beer, J; et al. (2004-10-23).
"Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous
11,000 years." (PDF). Nature431 (7012): 1084–1087.
doi:10.1038/nature02995. PMID 15510145. http://cc.oulu.fi/
• Solanki, Sami K.; et al. (2005-07-28). "Climate: How unusual is today's solar
activity? (Reply)" (PDF). Nature436: E4–E5. doi:10.1038/nature04046.
• Sowers, Todd (2006-02-10). "Late Quaternary Atmospheric CH4 Isotope
Record Suggests Marine Clathrates Are Stable". Science311 (5762): 838–840.
doi:10.1126/science.1121235. PMID 16469923.
• Svensmark, Henrik; et al. (2007-02-08). "Experimental evidence for the role
of ions in particle nucleation under atmospheric conditions". Proceedings of
the Royal Society A (FirstCite Early Online Publishing) 463 (2078): 385–396.
doi:10.1098/rspa.2006.1773. (online version requires registration)
• Walter, KM; Zimov, SA; Chanton, JP; Verbyla, D; Chapin Fs, 3rd; et al. (2006-
09-07). "Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to
climate warming". Nature443 (7107): 71–75. doi:10.1038/nature05040.
PMID 16957728.
• Wang, Y.-M.; Lean, J.L.; Sheeley, N.R. (2005-05-20). "Modeling the sun's
magnetic field and irradiance since 1713" (PDF). Astrophysical Journal625:
522–538. doi:10.1086/429689.
• Royal Society (2005). "Joint science academies' statement: Global response
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statement-Global-response-to-climate-change/. Retrieved 19 April 2009.

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Global warming and climate change



Instrumental record ·Satellite record ·Past 1,000 years ·Since 1880 ·Geologic
record ·Historical climatology ·Paleoclimatology



Attribution of recent climate change

·Aviation ·Biofuel ·Carbon dioxide ·Earth's energy
budget ·Earth's radiation balance ·Fossil
Anthropogenic fuel ·Global dimming ·Global warming
potential ·Greenhouse effect ·Greenhouse
gases ·Land use and forestry ·Radiative
forcing ·Urban heat island

Albedo ·Bond events ·Cloud

Natural forcing ·Feedbacks ·Glaciation ·Global cooling · Ocean
variability (AMO ·ENSO ·IOD ·PDO) ·Orbital
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Models Global climate model



History of climate change science ·Svante Arrhenius ·Charles David Keeling

Opinion and controversy

Scientific opinion on climate change ·Scientists opposing the mainstream

assessment ·Media coverage of climate change ·Public opinion on climate



United Nations Framework Convention on

Politics Climate Change (UNFCCC /
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Change (IPCC) ·Climate change denial


Potential effects and issues

Abrupt climate change ·Climate change and

agriculture ·Drought ·Economics of global
warming ·Fisheries and climate
change ·Glacier retreat ·Mass
extinction ·Ozone depletion ·Ocean
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G8 Climate Change
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Avoiding Dangerous Climate

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Support System

Category:Global warming ·Category:Climate change ·Glossary of climate

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• High Finance

You are here: Home › Finance › Sources of Finance (Finance Sourcing)

Sources of Finance (Finance Sourcing)

A company would choose from among various sources of finance depending on the amount of
capital required and the term for which it is needed. Finance sources can be divided into three
categories, namely traditional sources, ownership capital and non-ownership capital.

Traditional Sources of Finance

Internal resources have traditionally been the chief source of finance for a company. Internal
resources could be a company’s assets, factoring or invoice discounting, personal savings and
profits that have not been reinvested or distributed among shareholders. Working capital is a
short term source of finance and is the money used for a company’s day-to-day activities,
including salaries, rent, payments for raw materials and electricity bills.

Sources of Finance: Ownership Capital

Ownership capital is the capital owned by the shareholders of a company. A company can raise
substantial funds through an IPO (initial public offering). These funds are usually used for large
expenses, such as new product development, expansion into a new market and setting up a
new plant. The various types of shares are:

• Ordinary shares: These are also known as equity shares and give the owner the right to share
the company’s profits and vote at the firm’s general meetings.

• Preference shares: The owners of these shares may be entitled to a fixed dividend, but usually
do not have the right to vote.

Companies that are already listed on a stock exchange can opt for a rights issue, which seeks
additional investment from existing shareholders. They could also opt for deferred ordinary
shares, wherein the issuing company is not required to pay dividends until a specified date or
before the profits reach a certain level.

Unquoted companies (those not listed on stock exchanges) can also issue and trade their
shares in over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

Sources of Finance: Non-Ownership Capital

Non-ownership capital includes funds raised from lenders, such as banks and creditors.
Companies typically borrow a fixed amount from a bank, at a predetermined interest rate and
with a fixed repayment schedule. Certain bank accounts offer overdraft facilities. This is used by
companies to meet their short-term fund requirements, as they usually come at a very high
interest rate.

Factoring enables a company to raise funds using its outstanding invoices. The company
typically receives about 85% of the value of the invoice from the factor. This method is more
appropriate for overcoming short-term cash-flow issues.

Hire purchase allows a company to use an asset without immediately paying the complete
purchasing price. Trade credit enables a company to obtain products and services from another
firm and pay the bill later.

Sources of Finance: Venture Capital

Firms in the early stages of development can opt for venture capital. This option gives the
financing company some ownership as well as influence over the direction of the enterprise.

Sources of Finance: Duration

Depending on the date of maturity, sources of finance can be clubbed into the following:

Long-term sources of finance: Long-term financing can be raised from the following sources:

• Share capital or equity share

• Preference shares

• Retained earnings

• Debentures/Bonds of different types

• Loans from financial institutions

• Loan from state financial corporation

• Loans from commercial banks

• Venture capital funding

• Asset securitisation

• International

Medium-term sources of finance: Medium-term financing can be raised from the following

• Preference shares

• Debentures/bonds

• Public deposits/fixed deposits for duration of three years

• Commercial banks

• Financial institutions

• State financial corporations

• Lease financing / hire purchase financing

• External commercial borrowings

• Euro-issues
• Foreign currency bonds

Short term sources of finance: Short-term financing can be raised from the following sources:

• Trade credit

• Commercial banks

• Fixed deposits for a period of 1 year or less

• Advances received from customers

• Various short-term provisions



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