Since the pre-industrial period, human activities are estimated to have increased Earths global average temperature by about 1.1 degree Celsius (IPCC, 2021), a number that is currently increasing by 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade (GISTEMP Team, 2021). The increase in global average temperature is driven by increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and other human activities (IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, 2021).
Scientists use observations from the ground, air, and space, along with theoretical models and scenarios of future emissions, to monitor and study past, present, and future climate change. Climate data records provide evidence of climate change key indicators such as global land and ocean temperature increases; rising sea levels; ice loss at Earths polar regions and in mountain glaciers; frequency and severity changes in extreme weather such as hurricanes, heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and precipitation; and cloud and vegetation cover changes, to name but a few. This climate information is a fundamental basis for mitigation, adaptation, and risk management planning in all parts of the world and across many elements of society and ecosystems.
This two-part, introductory webinar series will provide an overview of NASA resources for monitoring climate change and its impacts. The webinar will define the terminology and the role of Earth observations in climate change assessment, and then provide an overview of NASA climate models suitable for emissions policy, impacts, risk, and resilience applications.