Summary

It is established that climate has changed considerably in the past under the influence of natural internal and external factors. However, the recent climate trend revealed by direct instrumental measurements cannot be explained by natural factors alone and a considerable portion of recent climate changes with a very high degree of confidence has to be attributed to the human activity, primarily the emission of greenhouse gases. Growing concern about future climate change stimulated development of climate models, the only tool available for future climate predictions. Current generation of climate models demonstrates a considerable skill in simulation of modern climate and past climate changes. This substantially enhances the confidence in the models ability to provide a reliable picture of the future greenhouse world. Predictions of future climate changes made with numerical climate models clearly demonstrate that unmitigated fossil fuel combustion will lead to an accelerated global warming which represents a serious threat for the well-being of the future generations.

See also: Biogeochemical Models; Global Change Impacts on the Biosphere; Global Warming Potential and the Net Carbon Balance; Greenhouses, Microcosms, and Mesocosms; Ocean Currents and Their Role in the Biosphere.

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