Ten Things You May Not Know about Climate Change

Farmington Hills, Mich., August 5, 2008 – From global warming to solar power, the changes in the Earth’s climate is under scrutiny.  Gale, part of Cengage Learning, announces the release of Climate Change in Context, a new reference book designed to explain the complexities of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to younger students.

Here are 10 things you may not know about climate change:

  1. Global warming is causing more snow to fall in the central parts of ice-covered Greenland and Antarctica, even as it speeds melting around the coastlines.
  2. Forty percent of all carbon dioxide emitted thus far by human beings has been absorbed by the oceans, making oceans more acidic and challenging to marine life.
  3. The greenhouse effect is a natural and needed phenomenon that is vital to life. In the absence of the greenhouse effect, Earth’s surface temperature would average about 0°F (-18°C), which is well below the freezing point of water. The challenge comes from the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by human activity.
  4. About a tenth of global warming is caused by agricultural production.
  5. The last 200 years of human activity have increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to its highest level in at least 800,000 years.
  6. About 5 percent of human-released carbon dioxide is from the manufacture of cement.
  7. Brown clouds of carbon from traditional fuels like wood and dung hanging over the Indian Ocean are absorbing enough solar energy to cause up to half of Asia’s recent warming.
  8. Almost two thirds of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor. However, water does not linger in the atmosphere, so other greenhouse gases set the pace of global climate change.
  9. Venus’ surface is heated to above the melting point of lead by a runaway greenhouse effect. The climate histories of Mars and Venus may offer insights into Earth’s climate system.
  10. All but a handful of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and that human actions fundamentally cause the extreme changes observed. The IPCC argues that climate change could be significantly lessened at little cost or even at a profit, and without slowing world economic growth.

“This title explains the history, politics and ethical issues related to climate change – including its impact on daily life, trade, commerce, travel, natural resources and various animal species,” said Julia Furtaw, product manager at Gale.  “Where industrialized and developing nations of the world are heading is also addressed as we see the changes already taking place in our climate.”

In addition, Climate Change in Context supports basic and advanced curricula in earth and environmental science, general science, government, history and social sciences.  It also combines original essays written by a team of international experts in the field with primary source documents and sidebar features on the cultural, economic and political issues surrounding climate change.

More than 250 articles address topics including:

  • Abrupt climate change
  • Arctic melting
  • Carbon footprint
  • Climate change skeptics
  • Climate engineering
  • Economics of climate change
  • Environmental protests
  • Heat waves
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • IPCC Climate Change 2007 Report
  • IPCC Climate Change 2007 Report: Criticism
  • Media coverage of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth
  • Solar energy
  • Sustainability
  • United States: Climate policy
  • And many more

For more information, please contact Lindsay Brown at [email protected].

About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, libraries, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats – books and eBooks, databases and microfilm.  For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.