Former U.S. Vice President Albert Gore, here with legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Gore shared the award with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

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  • On October 12, 2007, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their efforts to bring attention to the issue of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. Gore had fought for years to raise public awareness of the dangers associated with global warming. He published several books on the subject and released a popular feature film, An Inconvenient Truth, about the scientific facts behind the phenomenon.

    As a result of the IPCC’s work, there is now a broad understanding that human activity has had a significant impact on the planet, particularly within the past 100 years, and that we must change our habits if we are to save the natural environment from further harm. While the data regarding climate change are serious, there are answers to the problems we face. These answers include investing in alternate energy sources; modifying our personal behavior to reduce, reuse, and recycle; and exploring technological solutions to the problems of severe, unpredictable weather and rising sea levels.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    associate Verb

    to connect.

    data Plural Noun

    (singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.

    environment Noun

    conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

    global warming Noun

    increase in the average temperature of the Earth's air and oceans.

    Encyclopedic Entry: global warming
    invest Verb

    to contribute time or money.

    modify Verb

    to change or alter.

    Nobel Peace Prize Noun

    award recognizing the contributions of a person or organization to "work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace."

    phenomenon Noun

    an unusual act or occurrence.

    public Adjective

    available to an entire community, not limited to paying members.

    severe Adjective


    significant Adjective

    important or impressive.

    weather Noun

    state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.

    Encyclopedic Entry: weather