This chapter focuses on looking at warming as a global issue and a global system. It will present what climate scientists refer to as climate forcing—the positive and negative feedbacks of the climate system and what they mean to the issue as a whole. Next, it will introduce the concepts of scientific inquiry and the limits of technology, their common ground and the boundaries between them. The structure, goals, and purpose of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be addressed, as well as what scientists currently know, speculate, and do not yet know about global warming. Finally, the chapter will glance at what lies ahead.
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