The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, 4th edition (GES4) is devoted to providing younger students and general readers with a foundation upon which to build an understanding of modern science. Although as expansive and inclusive as size allows, any encyclopedia devoted to science can only hope to wade a bit along the shore of a vast ocean of knowledge.
... Science and news never stop, and after this revision of GES4 went to press, developments continued to evolve on included topics. For example: In April 2007, NASA announced its conclusion that an errant computer command resulted in a November 2006 fatal malfunction to the Mars Global Surveyor probe that ended its already extended scientific mission. Such events, however, do not greatly impact the value of the fundamental information offered in GES articles. Especially with regard to topics in medicine or health, however, readers must always consult their personal health care provider to ensure that they have the latest information that applies to their individual needs.
One event that occurred after GES4 went to press was so significant that the editors desire to offer an update in this introduction.
At a press conference at Paris in February 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists offered landmark consensus that strong scientific evidence supports the assertion that "most of the observed increase" in global warming is due to observed increases in greenhouse gases contributed by human (anthropogenic) activity. The report findings instantly fueled global debate on how to respond to the report's ominous predictions regarding climate change.
The IPCC panel described progress in understanding both the natural and human impacts on climate change, including data related to observed climate change, the methods involved in the scientific study of climate processes, and estimates of projected future climate change. The report expanded upon prior IPCC reports and incorporated new data and findings discovered since the last report in 2001. <more> K. Lee Lerner & Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, editors. London, U.K. October, 2008.