Arctic amplification - The effect of sea ice melting replace high albedo ice with low albedo sea that absorb the radiation from the sun get warmer and melt more ice.
Arctic oscillation (AO) - the dominant pattern of non-seasonal sea-level pressure (SLP) variations north of 20 degrees N, and it is characterized by SLP anomalies of one sign in the Arctic and anomalies of opposite sign centered about 37-45 degrees N. See also NAO.
Arctic shrinkage - the marked decrease in Arctic sea ice and the observed melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet in recent years.
Climate - the average and variations of weather in a region over long periods of time.
Climate change - changes of climate in general, usually with no presumption of human influence. Note, however, that there is one important exception to this: the UNFCCC defines "climate change" as anthropogenic.
Eco-efficiency - creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution.
Earth's atmosphere - a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earth's gravity.
Earthshine - sunlight reflected from Earth and illuminating the dark side of the Moon.
Ecotax - fiscal policy that introduces taxes intended to promote ecologically sustainable activities via economic incentives.
El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) - a set of specific interacting parts of a single global system of coupled ocean-atmosphere climate fluctuations that come about as a consequence of oceanic and atmospheric circulation.
Emission standards - requirements that set specific limits to the amount of pollutants that can be released into the environment
Feedbacks - either an amplification (positive feedback) or a reduction (negative feedback) of the rate of global warming caused by its effects.
Fossil fuel - fossil source fuels, that is, hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the earth’s crust.
Freon - DuPont's trade name for its odorless, colorless, nonflammable, and noncorrosive chlorofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, which are used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Gulf Stream - a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, exits through the Strait of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Heiligendamm Process - an initiative that will institutionalize high level dialogue between the G8 countries and the five most important emerging economies, known as the O5 (Outreach 5) composed of China, Mexico, India, Brazil and South Africa; and the establishment of a common G5 + G8 platform at the OECD.
Paleoclimatology - the study of climate change taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth.
Polar amplification - greater temperature increases in the Arctic compared to the earth as a whole. It does not apply to the Antarctic
Polar city - a proposed human refuge located in northern regions of the Earth, and in Tasmania, New Zealand and the Antarctica, where people might have to live in order to survive major global warming "events" in the far distant future, also dubbed Lovelock Retreats.
Proxy - a variable that can be related to one of interest (e.g. tree rings can be proxies for temperature variations).
Solar variation - changes in the amount of radiant energy emitted by the Sun.
Sunspot - a region on the Sun's surface (photosphere) that is marked by a lower temperature than its surroundings and has intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection, forming areas of low surface temperature. Sunspot activity is subject to research on climate change.