Earth is always changing, on both long and short timescales. Glaciers grow and melt, sea level rises and falls, and hurricanes come and go. But the adjectives are starting to line up: The hottest, driest, wettest, and stormiest weather in history is being experienced in many different locales. These phenomena are pointing in one direction; the effects of global warming are becoming apparent and more intense in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. And such changes are beginning to take a toll on the biosphere, as will be discussed in the following chapter.

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