Understanding Climate Change Fundamentals: Exploring the Forces Shaping Our Planet’s Future

Salah Basem Ajjur, Sami G. Al-Ghamdi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter serves as an accessible introduction to climate change, catering to readers with limited scientific knowledge but a keen interest in the subject. It consolidates essential climatic information and insights from Earth and atmospheric sciences, delving into topics such as the atmosphere, greenhouse gases, global warming potential, CO2 equivalent emissions, aerosols, and carbon budget. Moreover, it presents compelling scientific evidence that establishes human activity as the primary driver of recent global warming and illustrates the spatial distribution of this warming. A significant focus of this chapter lies in comprehending the global modes of natural climate variability, unraveling the intricate mechanisms behind fluctuations in the Earth’s climate. It provides an overview of the latest advancements in climate models, observations, and reanalyses, as well as key institutions and programs involved in handling climatic datasets. Ultimately, this chapter aims to equip readers with a foundational understanding of climate change by consolidating crucial concepts and developments. It concludes by summarizing the key takeaways from the chapter and offering insights into future directions in climate research. By presenting complex scientific concepts in a reader-friendly manner, this chapter empowers individuals to grasp the basics of climate change and sets the stage for further exploration into more detailed aspects of this critical field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainable Cities in a Changing Climate
Subtitle of host publicationEnhancing Urban Resilience
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781394201532
ISBN (Print)9781394201549
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published 2024 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • climate change
  • climate models
  • global warming
  • greenhouse gases
  • observations and reanalyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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