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Antarctic Science in a Global Context

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DescriptionThe British Antarctic Survey conducts research into all aspects of earth system science by investigating the environment and ecosystems of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. This remit includes climate modelling in an Antarctic context and how the Southern continent influences the weather systems of the entire planet.

The Climate Prediction project is an excellent way of using modern computing methods for the perturbation of global climate models, the output of which furthers our understanding of environmental change.

The scientific opinion on climate change, as expressed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and explicitly endorsed by the national science academies of the G8 nations, is that the average global temperature has risen 0.6 ± 0.2 °C since the late 19th century, and that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities", most prominently the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). A small minority of qualified scientists contest the view that humanity's actions have played a significant role in increasing recent temperatures. Uncertainties do exist regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future, and a hotly contested political and public debate exists over what actions, if any, should be taken in light of global warming.

Based on the climate models referenced by the IPCC, temperatures may increase by 1.4 to 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. This is expected to result in other climate changes including rises in sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation. Such changes may increase extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and hurricanes, change agricultural yields, or contribute to biological extinctions. Although warming is expected to affect the frequency and magnitude of these events, it is very difficult to connect any particular event to global warming. (souce:
Created4 May 2005
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CountryUnited Kingdom
TypeGovernment agency
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