Glossary

Adaptation
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines adaptation as the adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
Dry Air Mole Fraction
Data are reported as a dry air mole fraction defined as the number of molecules of carbon dioxide divided by the number of all molecules in air, including CO2 itself, after water vapor has been removed. The mole fraction is expressed as parts per million (ppm). Example: 0.000400 is expressed as 400 ppm.
Ecosystem impacts
Ecosystem impacts are the effects on the complex interactions between living organisms and their environment that are attributable to climate change.
Feedbacks
Climate feedbacks are interactions between processes within the climate system which result in an initial process triggering changes in a second process that in turn influence the initial one.
Global climate change
Global climate change is change recorded over an extended length of time (decades or longer) with regards to precipitation, temperature or wind caused by natural and/or manmade factors.
Greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is the warming of our atmosphere caused by the atmosphere trapping heat radiating from Earth toward space. Gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, methane, nitrous oxides and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) act like glass in a greenhouse, allowing sunlight to pass into the "greenhouse," but blocking Earth's heat from escaping into space.
Greenhouse gases
Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC or "Freon"). With the exception of water vapor, increases in these greenhouse gases are produced largely by human activities. These gases let in most of the incoming solar radiation that heats Earth's surface, yet prevent part of the outgoing thermal radiation from escaping to space, thus trapping some of the surface heat energy.
Ice cores
Ice cores are made by boring into glaciers and polar ice sheets using hollow drill bits. By analyzing tiny air bubbles trapped in an ice core, scientists can determine the composition of the atmosphere when the layer was formed.
Infectious diseases
Infectious diseases, particularly those that appear in warm areas and are spread by mosquitoes and other insects, may increase due to climate change. These "vector-borne" diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Also, algal blooms could occur more frequently as temperatures warm—particularly in areas with polluted waters—in which case diseases (such as cholera) that tend to accompany algal blooms could become more frequent.
The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading scientific body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization.
Mitigation
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines mitigation as an intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.
R2 Value
The R2 (or R squared) value is a measure of the degree to which the line summarizes the two data series. The closer the value of one series is to 1.0, the more reliably you can predict the future series.
Sinks
Carbon sinks are natural systems that accumulate and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Natural sinks are the oceans and plants, which use carbon for the process of photosynthesis.