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Features
How a warming planet is threatening ocean cycles that fuel our atmosphere, food chain, and weather patterns.
Scientists say climate change will cause ocean levels to rise and increase the likelihood of extreme weather.
During the Industrial Revolution scientists began to question what how burning of coal would effect our atmosphere.
Scientists warn that overpopulation and consumption could lead to a forbidding future.
Scientists and experts are alarmed at amount of plastic debris and growing 'dead zones' in the world's oceans.

Itís shortly after 6am, and the first rays of sun are trying to burn through the patchy gray cloud cover over the Amazon river.†Itís already warm and sticky, but the breeze off the river is fresh and cooling.

But there is a slight problem. ďThe engine is a little hot, we need to stop so we

Gabriel Elizondo
Severe weather events are wracking the planet, and experts warn of even greater consequences to come.
Opinion
South America's biggest country needs a major overhaul of its transportation and energy systems.
The treaties signed at the first Rio summit failed - and it's up to our generation to make amends, says economist.
Diplomats at climate change talks this week appear unlikely to draft a workable legal document on CO2 reduction.
We should engage in a global dialogue to envision the future we want - and devise an adaptive strategy to get us there.
Greater policy attention is needed in directing emerging models for a green economy.

What is sustainability?

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Source: Rio+20 conference website)

What is climate change?

A change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. (Source: IPCC)

Since the early 20th century, the Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C, with about two thirds of the increase occurring since 1980. Scientists are more than 90 per cent certain that this warming is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

Climate model projections from the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the most recent of the agencies reports, indicate that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1C for their lowest emissions scenario and 6.4 °C for their highest.

Many scientists believe an even higher scenario is possible. These findings are recognised by the national science academies of all major industrialised nations.

Climate Change Impacts:

Increasing global temperature will affect every area of the planet. The most pronounced changes are happening at the poles, where retreating glaciers and loss of sea ice and permafrost are accelerating.

Sea levels are rising, and estimates range from a 1m to 6m increase by the end of this century. Expansion of subtropical deserts is already occurring, along with an increases in both frequency and intensity of extreme weather events that include heat waves, droughts, and heavy rainfall.

Many scientists conclude that if the global mean temperature rises 4C above preindustrial levels, human adaptation limits in much of the world will be exceeded, as will natural systems ability to adapt.

Solutions:

 Most countries are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), whose goal is to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change.

Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed that deep cuts in emissions are required, and that future global warming should be limited to 2C below the pre-industrial level.