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The Physics of Climate Change


A reading by the American Physical Society that provides an overview on the physics of climate change. This reading introduces the concepts of energy balance, radiative forcings, advection, hydrological processes, General Circulation Models, and anthropogenic greenhouse gas. It also summarises the responses to climate change through mitigation and adaptation.

Students will learn about various physical concepts that are used to determine anthropogenic climate change. They will also be introduced to climate prediction and the uncertainty caused due to the changes in the climate feedback balance and the net impact of greenhouse gases.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is the role of physics in understanding climate change?
  2. Discuss some uncertainties of anthropogenically forced climate change impacts.
About Tool
Tool Name Climate Change
Discipline Physics
Topic(s) in Discipline Climate Change Overview, Planetary Energy Balance, The Greenhouse Effect, Radiative Forcings, Advection, General Circulation Models, Greenhouse Gas 
Climate Topic Climate Literacy, Introduction to Climate Change 
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by American Physical Society  
Hosted at American Physical Society Website 
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic


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