Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Three things define an ice age: Earth has to be cold enough for a long time, ice grows to cover significant areas, and it lasts for millions of years.
The way we use fossil fuels is wasteful and inefficient. A world based on renewable energy would need half as much as we produce now.
New Zealanders have planted just over a quarter of a billion trees, about half of it native species, as part of an effort to increase carbon storage.
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
The IPCC’s review process is among the most exhaustive for any scientific process. Each report generates thousands of comments from hundreds of reviewers across a range of scientific perspectives.
A complete switch to biofuels is neither feasible nor desirable, but they could replace some fossil fuels in transport and heating. If biofuels are produced from waste products, that’s even better.
The Arctic region is warming much faster than the rest of the planet. The rapid loss of ice affects the polar jet stream, which influences weather patterns across the northern hemisphere.
Shutterstock/AVN Photo Lab
Natural gas may still be cheaper than electricity in some cases, but the price of gas is likely to rise if New Zealand follows the Climate Change Commission’s advice to shift to electrification.
When Antarctica’s land-based ice melts, the land bounces up slightly as the weight of the ice lifts. This affects sea levels across the world, but not enough to offset sea-level rise.
The Earth should be safe (and habitable) for a few billions of years, but we still need to worry about the impact now of just a few degrees of global warming.
Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the solar wind, guiding the solar particles to the polar regions.
SOHO (ESA & NASA)
When solar particles reach the Earth, they not only produce spectacular auroras but also contribute to the chemical reactions leading to ozone depletion, which in turn influences climate patterns.
As the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon is not only an important carbon sink, but also home to thousands of species of plants and animals and a crucial part of the water cycle.
People tend to interpret things through a lens of their pre-existing beliefs. But they are not immune to changing their view, if you treat them with respect and understanding.
It’s not only nuclear bomb tests that disrupt the atmosphere, there are a number of natural events that can do the same. But how long does any damage last?
The coronavirus pandemic caused the UN’s annual climate conference to be postponed by a year, but it was also responsible for a drop in carbon emissions. Is it enough and will it last?
Motorways were once seen as a way of reducing congestion in our towns and cities. But the more we build, the more they fill with drivers.
Our intention to buy climate-friendly products does not always match our buying behaviour, especially when we pay more for such products.
Professor John Long, Flinders University
We have had to adapt to several changes to our climate since we started our migration out of Africa many thousands of years ago.
Absolute temperatures are expected to rise more slowly in the tropics than in higher latitudes and polar regions, but the combination of heat and rising humidity will make life more challenging.
Shutterstock/effective stock photos
Methane is a live-fast, die-young greenhouse gas but its impact on the climate can last for hundreds or even thousands of years
Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert…