Our year of extremes: Did climate change just hit home?

(Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images file)

The dazzling icescape at the top of our planet is mutating into a place that is barely recognizable to those who have studied it for years.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Massive U.N. report says climate risks go beyond red alert

(Photo: Mike McMillan / USFS via Reuters file)

Global warming is driving humanity toward a whole new level of many risks, a U.N. scientific panel reports, warning that the wild climate ride has only just begun.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Number of Americans who don’t believe in climate change rises

(Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The number of Americans who believe global warming isn’t happening has risen to 23 percent, up 7 percentage points since April 2013.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Climate change threatening polar bears in Canada

(Photo: Laura Allenbaugh / NBC News)

Polar bears currently outnumber the residents of a small town in Canada’s tundra, but that may change soon. Climate change has sped up the ice melting season in Churchill, Manitoba, a town of about 800 residents — and 900 polar bears.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

'Extremely likely': Humans blamed more clearly than ever for global warming

(Photo: Reuters file)

A group of top climate scientists found in a new report that human beings needs to limit all man-made carbon emissions below a total of 1 trillion tons in order to limit climate change – and noted that the planet had already reached half that amount by 2011.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Final verdict expected Friday: Humans caused global warming

An international panel of scientists is expected to issue a report Friday that dismisses nearly every doubt that human activity has caused temperatures to warm, glaciers to melt, and seas to bulge since the middle of last century. 

(Source: NBCNews.com)

Extreme heat waves to quadruple by 2040, study says

The type of heat waves that wilt crops, torch forests — and kill people — are expected to become more frequent and severe over the next 30 years regardless of whether humans curb emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, according to a new study.

(Source: NBCNews.com)

Obama: No time for ‘flat-earth society’ on climate change

(Photo: NBC News)

President Barack Obama laid out a far-reaching set of proposals meant to address the driving causes of climate change, headlined by a new directive to begin limiting carbon emissions for new and existing power plants and the announcement of high environmental standards for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to be met before his administration signs off on the project.

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(Source: nbcnews.com)

Warmest springs on record bring earliest flowers ever

(Photo: Libby Ellwood / Boston University)

During the exceptionally warm springs of 2010 and 2012, plants bloomed earlier in the eastern U.S. than they have since the American writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau started keeping records near Walden Pond in 1852.

Killer whales’ plight in ice an example of climate change impact, researcher says

(Photo: Clement Rousseau)

The plight of a pod of killer whales that got trapped by ice in a mostly frozen Canadian bay this week was a “good example of what climate change can do” in the Arctic, a researcher said Friday.

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Antarctica, Greenland ice definitely melting into sea, and three times faster, experts warn

(Photo: NASA Earth Observatory)

What had been a blurry picture about polar ice — especially how it impacts sea levels — just got a whole lot clearer as experts on Thursday published a peer-reviewed study they say puts to rest the debate over whether the poles added to, or subtracted from, sea level rise over the last two decades.

Pandas’ bamboo food may be lost to climate change

(Photo: Jessie Cohen  /  Smithsonian Institution)

Though they are one of the most beloved animal species on Earth, pandas aren’t safe from the devastating effects of climate change.

According to a new study, projected temperature increases in China over the next century will likely seriously hinder bamboo, almost the sole source of food for endangered pandas. Only if bamboo can move to new habitats at higher elevations will pandas stand a chance, the researchers said.

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Bloomberg endorses Obama, citing Sandy and climate change

(Photo: Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Barack Obama on Thursday, invoking Hurricane Sandy and the president’s work to address climate change.

As New York reels from the fallout of this week’s hurricane, which caused 37 deaths in the city, Bloomberg said Obama was better-suited than Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to curb carbon emissions.

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Great Barrier Reef coral seeing ‘major decline,’ scientists report

(Photo: AFP - Getty Images file)

Calling it the most extensive review of how coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is faring, scientists on Monday reported some alarming news: The amount of coral covering reefs there has been cut in half since 1985 and will likely continue to decline unless steps are taken to at least attack the easiest of several factors.

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Could asteroid dust counter climate change on Earth?

(Photo: Charlotte Lücking / ESA / NASA)

To combat global warming, scientists in Scotland now suggest an out-of-this-world solution — a giant dust cloud in space, blasted off an asteroid, which would act like a sunshade for Earth.