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Updated 4 February, 2004

Global Warming and Climate Change
By researchers at Carnegie Mellon University
Published in 1994

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of Global Warming and Climate Change


Carnegie Mellon University Logo


This brochure was prepared by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University to explain the issue of global warming and climate change. The key points are covered in the three parts that follow:



The issue at a glance...

Part 1: Climate

  • Burning coal, oil and natural gas releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. On average, this may warm the earth and change the climate in other ways. For example, it might change the severity and duration of storms or droughts.
  • Other human activities, such as cutting down forests, and growing rice, and raising cattle, may have the same effect, but are less important.

Part 2: Impacts

  • If the climate changes heating, cooling, water use, and sea level will be affected. In wealthy countries, the average cost would probably be small, although some people and regions might have high costs and others might receive large benefits. In some poor countries, the cost could be very high.
  • A large or fast change in climate will have a big effect on plants and animals in the natural environment.
  • Very rapid climate change is unlikely, but could be disastrous, even for wealthy countries.

Part 3: Policy

  • We could reduce the rate at which we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by burning less coal, oil and natural gas.
  • If climate changes, we could adapt by changing agriculture and other human activities. Many plants and animals in the natural environment might be unable to adapt.
  • If warming is large and costly, some people might want to make changes to the atmosphere or oceans in order to cool the earth. This is very controversial.

Common misconceptions about climate change


The three sections linked from this summary tell you more about the climate change issue. You can find even more information in the "details booklets" found via the links in each section. A glossary, that defines words, and a list of additional readings are in the back of Details Booklet Part 3.

This brochure was written by a group in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. More information about the authors.


To obtain one or more print copies of the Brochure contact:

Carnegie Mellon University
Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
ATTN: Climate Brochure

$6.00/copy quantities less than 10
$5.50/copy quantities greater than 10
$5.00/copy quantities greater than 100

All orders must be prepaid. Make check payable to Carnegie Mellon University and send to the address indicated above. Thank you.


Copyright 1994. This material may be reproduced for free distribution. It may not be reproduced for sale in any form without the written permission of the authors.


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