Global warming

Where can I find information about global warming?

Image: Extremes, by Sakeeb Sabakka on Flickr.

Entry last updated: 18/03/19

Introduction

Global warming is the long term rising of the Earth's temperature, caused by the greenhouse effect.

The terms 'global warming' and 'climate change' are often used interchangeably, because the current trend in climate change is that the earth is getting warmer. If you see the phrase 'climate change', people are often talking about 'global warming' but be aware that 'global cooling' is also a factor in climate change.

Useful words and phrases

Here are some words and phrases you might come across when researching this topic.

Climate: Climate refers to the normal weather patterns of a place, such as average temperature, rainfall, wind etc.

Climate change: The change in the normal weather patterns, which can mean warming, cooling, or other changes.

Global warming: The long term rising of the earth's temperature.

Global cooling: The long term cooling of the earth's temperature.

Greenhouse effect: The warming of the earth's surface and the air above it, caused by gases in the air that trap energy from the sun.

Greenhouse gas: The gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect, for example carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

The ozone layer: The ozone layer is a layer above planet earth that absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Ozone depletion: This is the gradual thinning or shrinking of the ozone layer caused by release of poisonous gases from industries and human activities.

What is global warming?

The resource below will help you understand the meaning of global warming.

Britannica School

Britannica School is part of EPIC, which is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Choose your level (Primary, Middle or Secondary) and then enter the keywords 'Global warming' into the search bar.
  • Select the article global warming (Earth science) to read what global warming is about and other related information.
  • Remember you can always switch between levels by selecting another level from 'Article Reading Level' which can be found at the top of the page.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.National Geographic

Causes and impacts of global warming

Most scientists agree that global warming is caused by human activity and its effect on the environment. They are also concerned about the impact of global warming on our weather patterns, sea levels and way of life.

NASA

This official site of NASA for students has graded information on various space topics that includes global warming and climate change. It includes images and video galleries.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g [topic word]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
Tips: A website’s address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that include .gov or .edu in the URL. These are quality sites from overseas government or educational organisations.

Global Issues in Context

Global Issues in Context is another EPIC database. It has lots of information relating to earth's environmental studies.

  • Go to Browse Issues from the tabs at the top of the page and scroll down to select Global warming from the list of topics.
  • Select Read more from the introduction to find more about this topic, its causes and impacts.
Tips: Searches on EPIC databases come up with lots of related articles, videos, audio and other media. We recommend you explore them to learn more about a topic.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

This EPIC database looks at different sides of the argument for many topical subjects, including global warming.

  • You can do a general search using the keywords 'global warming' to find information including viewpoints, journal articles, statistics, images and more.
  • The other way to find information if by looking under the heading Energy and Environmentalism, then choosing the link to Global Warming and Climate Change.

Science in Context

This EPIC resources is full of science information for students covering a wide range of topics, including causes of global warming such as the greenhouse effect.

Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!

Action on global warming

The impacts of global warming are being taken seriously in most parts of the world. For this reason there are many organisations internationally and in New Zealand who are working to reduce it.

NASA

We like NASA's website about global climate change because it comes from a reliable organisation and has heaps of researched facts about climate change.

  • Do a search for 'global warming' like we did earlier.
  • Find the link Climate Change and Global Warming.
  • Scroll down the page and select Solutions to see what is being done around the world to solve climate change.

The Ministry for the Environment - Manatū Mō Te Taiao

The Ministry for the Environment has a large section of its website dedicated to sharing information about global warming and climate change.

  • Select Climate Change from the tabs at the top of the page.
  • Have a look at the links We all have a role to play to see what we can do individually and watch videos on climate change initiatives.
  • The link What the Government is doing has more details on climate change programmes and emission reduction schemes and targets.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

NIWA - Taihoro Nukurangi

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research was set up by the New Zealand government to research sustainable use of natural resources like our air and water.

  1. Go to Science along the top of the page and then choose Climate.
  2. Look under the tab Climate research projects for Providing climate change advice to New Zealand regions and Developing National Climate Change Plan for New Zealand.
  3. Both these links have information on climate related work undertaken in New Zealand.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Global Issues in Context

This EPIC database has useful information on solutions and actions on global warming.

  • Find the topic Global warming from Browse Issues like we did before.
  • Here you can find information about international groups or agreements that address global warming and climate change, like the Paris Climate Agreement and UN Climate Change Conferences .
  • You can also find other related websites, like the official site of the Kyoto Protocol .

Books

There are some great books on global warming- check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Some recommended titles are:

SCIS no: 1908750

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