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Earth’s subterranean carbon blisters are starting to pop. Carbon inside now-melting permafrost is oozing out, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out just how much of it is ending up in the atmosphere. Whether recent findings from research that attempted to help answer this question are good or bad climate news might depend on whether you see an Arctic river basin as half full of mud - or half empty.
Surging carbon dioxide levels boosted greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to a new high in 2013, amid worrying signs that absorption by land and sea is waning, the UN warned today. "An alarm bell is ringing," Michel Jarraud, head of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), told reporters in Geneva.
As former Montana smokejumpers we are increasingly alarmed by the severity, size, and expense of wildfires. The weather this year in Montana might give false hope to those who think weather and climate are the same. But climate is about trends and scientists say that those trends are proving what our guts have told us for a long time: Climate change is an increasing problem for firefighters who are facing increasing risks as a result. Since the 1980s, Montana's wildfire season increased by two months while average global temperatures have steadily trended upward. Climate researcher Steve Running has summarized the data this way: "Since 1986, longer, warmer summers have resulted in a fourfold increase of major wildfires and a sixfold increase in the area of forest burned, compared to the period from 1970 to 1986."

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Welcome to Climate Change Monitoring

The Climate Change Monitoring Services (CCMS) is taking steps to bring this evidence to the public's attention, with the goal of building support for action to reduce the heat-trapping gas emissions that cause global warming. We have developed - and always updated - a world map, viewable online and also available as an Online Maps, that shows where the fingerprints and harbingers of global warming have occurred in recent years. By showing the local consequences of climate change, it brings the message home effectively.

Frustrated because a friend or colleague says global warming is the future's problem?

Compelling new evidence demonstrates that global warming is already under way with consequences that must be faced today as well as tomorrow. The evidence is of two kinds:

  • Fingerprints of global warming are indicators of the global, long-term warming trend observed in the historical record. They include heat waves, sea-level rise, melting glaciers and warming of the poles.
  • Harbingers are events that foreshadow the impacts likely to become more frequent and widespread with continued warming. They include spreading disease, earlier spring arrival, plant and animal range shifts, coral reef bleaching, downpours, and droughts and fires.

Climate Change events

Weather Clouds

Coral Bleaching

Disease

Drought

Glacier Melting

Heatwave

Heavy Storm

Methane efflux

Migration

Polar Melting

Sea-level Rise

WaterWar