National Science Foundation (NSF) put out a special report detailing known changes to the planet related to global warming.
Ecologists have noted marked changes in the habitats of the species they study — changes in the places where they find a particular species, changes in the dates plants first sprout and bloom, changes in plant growth rates and even signs of evolutionary adaptation brought on by a warming climate. In some cases, species extinctions appear linked to climate change.
Ocean scientists have recorded higher temperatures and higher ocean acidity, which alter the characteristics of the most fundamental organisms of the ocean food chain. Coral reefs — some of which have thrived for centuries — have died off suddenly as a result of ocean temperatures that exceed the corals’ ability to survive.
Polar scientists have watched vast tracts of Arctic sea ice melt away, leaving behind more open water than anyone can remember seeing during any previous Northern Hemisphere summer. Glaciologists have witnessed ice shelves — once thought too large to be influenced by anything short of cataclysmic environmental change — break up into a churning sea of icebergs in a matter of days.