anthropogenic global warming, definition of

Anthropogenic Global Warming

Often abbreviated to just AGW. This is global warming which has been caused by human activity in addition to natural global warming.

The science around this is difficult to prove, as identifying a clear indicator of the human contribution which is independent of multiple natural causes is very hard to do in reality. The human element to global warming needs to be clearly and precisely measured against a background of natural global warming that has been occurring since the last ice age. 


Given the, until recent (last 20 years), lack of good direct measurement of the climatic system; a lot of dependence has been placed on proxy measurements, which often have high inherent error and many secondary effects that need to be taken into account. 

Temperature measurement is further complicated by the fact that a global temperature is a 'synthetic measurement'; i.e. it cannot be directly observed 'as is' instantaneously globally, it has to be calculated from sparse measurements (both in time and space) of temperature from multiple locations with differing local environmental conditions. Again this incurs additional errors and growing uncertainty.

News & Blog articles where 'anthropogenic global warming' used:
  • An Engineer’s Take On Major Climate Change
    Guest essay by Ronald D. Voisin Let’s examine, at a high and salient level, the positive-feedback Anthropogenic Global Warming, Green-House-Gas Heating Effect (AGW-GHGHE) with its supposed pivotal role for CO2. The thinking is that a small increase...
  • On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    Guest post by Bill Gray Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University (AMS Fellow, Charney Award recipient, and over 50-year member) June 2011 I am very disappointed at the downward path the AMS has been following for the last 10-15 years in … Continue...
  • Anyone up for a spot of red kite shooting?
    Though I’m aware that taking pot shots at birds of prey is generally considered unsporting, there are so many in the part of mid-Wales I’m staying right now that I think they almost qualify as a pest...

Related Tags: global warming, climate change

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