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How do we study our changing climate?

This video explores techniques that scientists use to understand what is happening to our atmosphere - past, present and future.
If we want to know what temperature it is, we can look at a thermometer, right? And there are many similar tools available to us, such as barometers and hydrometers, which can tell us about air pressure, humidity and the range of other weather conditions. So, climate scientists can use this information, gathered over a long period of time, to understand what is happening with the climate. We can also use data collected from satellites to get a bigger picture. This information tends to be very accurate and, therefore, very useful. But unfortunately, this type of data has only been readily available for a few decades for most places on Earth.
So, what do we do to get a longer-term, more global picture of the climate? Well, scientists can use evidence left behind by past events to understand the climatic conditions from long ago. Scientists can look for clues that are left in places like coral reefs, tree rings and ice caps. And these natural recorders can provide information about temperature, precipitation and much more. They can collect information from these natural records with samples all around the world and combine them to get an overall picture of the global climate. Scientists also look at how these changes in temperature and precipitation impact on the world around us.
We look for clues in our soils, changes to the types and sizes of clouds that form, the way glaciers move, grow and shrink, as well as other aspects of our natural world. And when we bring all of the information together, we can get a good picture of how the climate used to look, what factors influence it, and how it is changing now.

So, we know that our natural cycles have been pushed out of balance due to the human activity associated with the Industrial Revolution, and how this has led to modern global warming.

We also know that scientists have known about the impact of greenhouse gases on our planet’s climate for a very long time. But how do we know that what we’re seeing now is unusual? How do we know what past climate’s looked like or that this hasn’t happened before? Well… climate scientists have come up with some smart ways to find out what our past atmosphere and climates looked like.

In this video, Gautam Jindal explores the various techniques that scientists use to understand what has happened to our atmosphere and climate in the past, and what is happening right now.  

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Climate Solutions: UAE

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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