NEED TO KNOW
A handy glossary of terms for understanding climate change
A gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and keeps Earth warmer than it would otherwise be, by absorbing heat coming from the Earth’s surface. Examples include methane, ozone and carbon dioxide.
A vast landmass made up of most of Earth’s continental blocks. Supercontinents have formed at least seven times in Earth’s history, the most recent being the supercontinent of Pangaea, which started to break up around 180 million years ago.
A means of calculating the age of anything containing carbon by assessing the amount of radioactive decay, developed in the late 1940s.
TIPPING POINT 5
An abrupt change in global climate from one stable state to another. Some tipping points are thought to be irreversible, comparable to tipping over a glass of wine: standing the glass back up won’t return the wine back to the glass.