Global Warming Effects Around the World

Global Warming Glossary *


Net biome production (NBP) - Net biome production is the net ecosystem production (NEP) minus carbon losses resulting from disturbances such as fire or insect defoliation.

Net ecosystem production (NEP) - Net ecosystem production is the difference between net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (mostly decomposition of dead organic matter) of that ecosystem over the same area (see also net biome production (NBP).

Net primary production (NPP) - Net primary production is the gross primary production minus autotrophic respiration, i.e., the sum of metabolic processes for plant growth and maintenance, over the same area.

Nitrogen oxides (NOX) - Any of several oxides of nitrogen.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) - One of the six types of heat-trapping gases (greenhouse gases) to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol.

Nonlinearity - A process is called nonlinear when there is no simple proportional relation between cause and effect. The climate system contains many such nonlinear processes, resulting in a system with a potentially very complex behavior. Such complexity may lead to abrupt climate change.

No regrets policy - A policy that would generate net social and/or economic benefits irrespective of whether or not human-induced climate change occurs.

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) - The North Atlantic Oscillation consists of opposing variations of barometric pressure near Iceland and near the Azores. It therefore corresponds to fluctuations in the strength of the main westerly winds across the Atlantic into Europe, and thus to fluctuations in the embedded cyclones with their associated frontal systems.

Northern Annular Mode (NAM) - A winter fluctuation in the amplitude of a pattern characterized by low surface pressure in the Arctic and strong mid-latitude westerlies. The NAM has links with the northern polar vortex into the stratosphere. Its pattern has a bias to the North Atlantic and has a large correlation with the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Non-market impacts - Impacts that affect ecosystems or human welfare, but that are not easily expressed in monetary terms, e.g., an increased risk of premature death, or increases in the number of people at risk of hunger. See also market impacts.


Glossaries of the contributions of Working Groups I, II and III to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 2007.

Nakićenović, N., J. Alcamo, G. Davis, B. de Vries, J. Fenhann, S. Gaffin, K. Gregory, A. Grübler, T.Y. Jung, T. Kram, E.L. La Rovere, L. Michaelis, S. Mori, T. Morita, W. Pepper, H. Pitcher, L. Price, K. Raihi, A. Roehrl, H.-H. Rogner, A. Sankovski, M. Schlesinger, P. Shukla, S. Smith, R. Swart, S. van Rooijen, N. Victor and Z. Dadi, 2000: Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, and New York, 599 pp.

* Definitions adapted from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report 2007 and the Dictionary of Geological Terms Third Edition. 1984. Bates and Jackson (Eds).