Before you do anything else, listen to Katharine Hayhoe explain climate change…




The science clearly linking climate change to human activity has been confirmed repeatedly for over 50 years. To quote from NASA, “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” 

During the same 50 years a fossil-fuel supported misinformation campaign has fought back, misleading the public and affecting the education of children and the legislation desperately needed. The IPCC (the United Nations) and the NCA (the US Federal Government) have issued report after report, often reporting that previous assessments had been toooptimistic or that scientists had actually underestimated the pace and severity of the climate problem. 

Most of the leading scientific organizations throughout the world have issued public statements endorsing the position that climate change has been caused by human action.

In November, 2019, on the 40th anniversary of the world’s first climate conference, 11,000 scientists from 153 nations declared, in a Bioscience report, “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency and that we must change how we live.” The scientists say the urgent changes needed include ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction, and slashing meat eating.

As you explore the different sections in SCIENCE, you will find that climate change has created a web of interconnected relationships that are compounding the consequences we face. 

Setting records for the number of storms and wildfires, the contiguous USA ranked fifth warmest during 2020, according to a report issued by the NCEI, published on January 8, 2021.

Looking for a searchable chronology of climate-change events dating from 1824  to the present? Look no further, thanks to the University of Maine’s Sharon Tisher.



State of the Global Climate Observing System 2021

As the impacts of a warming climate become more evident, there is an ever-increasing demand for more detailed information on climate change, both to explain and project changes and to help planning and implementing adaptation…

Video: Global Warming from 1880 to 2020

Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to an analysis by NASA. Continuing the planet’s long-term warming trend, the year’s globally averaged temperature was 1.84…

Making climate impact science more accessible to the public: ISIpedia launch

Decision-makers on all levels are provided with a new tool to tackle the climate challenge. Data and explanations on global warming impacts – from floods to droughts - are made more accessible to the public…

How Scientists Are Using the International Space Station to Study Earth’s Climate

On Earth, we often look toward the sky, longing to know what resides in the rest of the universe. Meanwhile, 250 miles above our planet, the International Space Station is looking back.

Understanding Climate Change

JPL scientists study Earth’s changing climate, focusing on four broad themes: icy regions; the movement of water between sea, air, and land; greenhouse gas emissions and absorption; and our world’s ecosystems.

Climate at a glance

Look up monthly rankings for 1-12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60-month time periods using this tool from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Less than 2 °C warming by 2100 unlikely

Our model is not a ‘business as usual’ scenario, but rather is based on data which already show the effect of emission mitigation policies. Achieving the goal of less than 1.5 °C warming will require carbon…

Reduced dividends on natural capital?

Natural capital provides the world’s population with a variety of critical services. These include ecosystem services (providing goods such as food, fiber, fuel, water, and wood), regulating environmental conditions (by controlling pollution, protecting against natural…

NOAA’s Weather and Climate Toolkit

NOAA's Weather and Climate Toolkit (WCT) is free, platform independent software distributed from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). The WCT allows the visualization and data export of weather and climate data, including Radar,…

Climate Impacts Group

The Climate Impacts Group provides a range of technical resources that can be used to help address climate impacts.

Climate Adaptation Science Centers

The CASCs develop data and tools that address the informational needs of natural and cultural resource managers.

Data Snapshots: Reusable Climate Maps

This visual catalog with convenient filtering options can help you find the climate data you need. How-to instructions can help you navigate data access tools.


Science is under siege. Anti-science groups and individuals seek to delegitimize, interfere with, and undermine facts and evidence that threaten their financial interests and ideological beliefs. Aggressive legal action, harassment, and even death threats are…


Physics Nobel goes to complexity, both general and climatic

By Jennifer Ouellette and John Timmer   10/06/21  
Complex behavior is all around us. Think of something like the economy. It has many components, each with its own set of rules and all of them interacting in complicated ways. Trying to follow what's…

How climate models got so accurate they earned a Nobel Prize

By Kieran Mulvaney   10/06/21  
Climate modelers are having a moment. Last month, Time Magazine listed two of them—Friederike Otto and Geert Jan van Oldenborg of the World Weather Attribution Project—among the 100 Most Influential People of 2021. Two weeks…

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Study of Humanity’s Role in Changing Climate

By Cade Metz, Marc Santora and Cora Engelbrecht  Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand   10/05/21  
Three scientists received the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for work that is essential to understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing, pinpointing the effect of human behavior on those changes and ultimately predicting…

‘Eyes in the Sky’: New NASA Satellite Will Watch Climate Change

By Matt Alderton  Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls   10/04/21  
Earth observation satellite Landsat 9 will collect valuable insights about the changing climate. Since its inception in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been obsessed with exploring outer space. In the face…

Today’s youth will face ‘unmatched’ climate extremes compared to older generations

By Ayesha Tandon   09/27/21  
People born in 2020 will have to face between two and seven times more extreme climate-related events over their lifetimes than people born in 1960, according to estimates from a new study.

First-of-its-kind research study could yield clues to climate-change impacts

By Tiffany Lee   09/17/21  
That principle may become especially relevant as the world enters uncharted territory with climate change. One way of better understanding what the future may hold, and how society can cope with it, is by examining…

To Avoid Extreme Disasters, Most Fossil Fuels Should Stay Underground, Scientists Say

By Lauren Sommer  Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images   09/09/21  
With tens of thousands of people displaced by floods, wildfires and hurricanes this summer, researchers warn that the majority of untapped fossil fuels must remain in the ground to avoid even more extreme weather.

The Oil and Gas Industry’s Dangerous Answer to Climate Change

By Sahir Doshi  Photo: Getty/Bonnie Jo Mount   08/25/21  
No one is immune to the effects of the climate crisis—not even those responsible for its causes. Rising sea levels, record heat, unprecedented extreme weather disasters, and increasingly unstable environmental conditions are making it costlier…

Tennessee floods show a pressing climate danger across America: ‘Walls of water’

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo: Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean/AP   08/23/21  
Then the weekend happened. More than 17 inches of rain fell in a single day on Saturday, overtopping the region’s many rivers and submerging places not previously considered floodplains within a matter of hours. Rice’s…

How extreme heat from climate change distorts human behavior

By Sujata Gupta  Photo: Bruce Yuanyue Bi   08/18/21  
On a sweltering summer afternoon almost a decade ago, Meenu Tewari was visiting a weaving company in Surat in western India. Tewari, an urban planner, frequently makes such visits to understand how manufacturing companies operate.…

Scientists say this invisible gas could seal our fate on climate change

By Rachel Ramirez   08/12/21  
Slashing carbon dioxide emissions is critical to ending the climate crisis. But, for the first time, the UN climate change report emphasized the need to control a more insidious culprit: methane, an invisible, odorless gas…

A NASA scientist explains why the weather is becoming more extreme

By Justine Calma  Photo: Brendan Smialowski/afp Via Getty Images   08/10/21  
Across China and Western Europe in July, the amount of rain that might typically fall over several months to a year came down within a matter of days, triggering floods that swept entire homes off…

3 Things To Know About What Scientists Say About Our Future Climate

By Lauren Sommer and Ruth Talbot   08/10/21  
More than 200 climate scientists just released a stark look at how fast the climate is warming, showing heat waves, extreme rain and intense droughts are on the rise. The evidence for warming is "unequivocal"…

Climate crisis ‘unequivocally’ caused by human activities, says IPCC report

By Damian Carrington  Photo: Sébastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images   08/09/21  
“​​It is unequivocal.” Those stark three words are the first in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report. The climate crisis is unequivocally caused by human activities and is unequivocally affecting every corner of…

What scientists are saying about the UN climate report

By Zoya Teirstein  Photo: Patrick T. Fallon / Afp Via Getty Images   08/09/21  
Patrick T. Fallon / Afp Via Getty Images

Top Scientists to Biden and Congress: ‘Go Big on Climate… Do So Now’

By Jessica Corbett  Photo: Josh Edelson , Getty Images   08/06/21  
Ahead of next week's highly anticipated United Nations report on the climate emergency, 21 leading U.S. scientists on Friday urged President Joe Biden and federal lawmakers to "go big on climate action and to do so now."

In summer of apocalyptic weather, concerns emerge over climate science blind spot

By Andrew Freedman  Photo: Sarah Grillo , Axios   07/19/21  
The rapid succession of precedent-shattering extreme weather events in North America and Europe this summer is prompting some scientists to question whether climate extremes are worsening faster than expected.

ESA and NASA join forces to understand climate change

Climate change is, arguably, the biggest environmental challenge the global population faces today. To address this major issue, decision-makers not only need accurate information on how our world is changing now, but also predictions on…

Why planting tons of trees isn’t enough to solve climate change

By Carolyn Gramling  Photo: Santiago Urquijo   07/09/21  
Trees are symbols of hope, life and transformation. They’re also increasingly touted as a straightforward, relatively inexpensive, ready-for-prime-time solution to climate change.When it comes to removing human-caused emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from…

A leaked UN report warns ‘worst is yet to come’ on climate change. Here’s how you can help

By William Brangham and Murrey Jacobson   06/23/21  
A leaked draft report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints the starkest picture yet of the accelerating danger caused by human use of coal, oil, and gas. It warns of coming…

Assessing the U.S. Climate in May 2021

Photo:   06/10/21  
May was mild across much of the contiguous U.S.; heavy rainfall contributed to flash flooding across parts of the Gulf Coast

An Australian inventor wants to stop global warming by electrifying everything

By Rachel Pannett  Photo: Helynn Ospina   05/28/21  
During a TED talk, Australian inventor Saul Griffith wanted to show his audience how much a person’s individual choices can affect the planet. The person, in this case, was himself.

Biden Has Elevated the Job of Science Adviser. Is That What Science Needs?

By William J. Broad  Photo: Amr Alfiki , New York Times   05/03/21  
On the campaign trail, Joseph R. Biden Jr. vowed to unseat Donald J. Trump and bring science back to the White House, the federal government and the nation after years of presidential attacks and disavowals, neglect…

Experts Issue Urgent Call for Action After ‘Our Planet, Our Future’ Summit

The Nobel Prizes were created to honor advances of “the greatest benefit to humankind.” They celebrate successes that have helped build a safe, prosperous, and peaceful world, the foundation of which is scientific reason.

John Kerry calls on scientists to lead fight against climate change denial

By Laurie Goering   04/27/21  
Widespread mistrust of science and disputes over basic facts, tied to growing political polarisation and disinformation campaigns, are undermining efforts to tackle climate change globally, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry warned.

Skeptical about a defense of science?

By Doug Bostrom   04/26/21  
On April 21 US House Representative Frank Lucas (3rd District, Oklahoma)  transmitted an urgent inquiry to the White House concerning the abrupt reassignment of Dr. Betsy Weatherhead, out of her position as head of the Fifth United…

Earth is getting a digital twin

By YCC Team   04/22/21  
Earth will soon have its own digital twin. Computer scientists and climate scientists have teamed up to create a virtual replica of the planet.

Wild donkeys and horses engineer water holes that help other species

By Jonathan Lambert  Photo: Petra Kaczensky   04/21/21  
Water drives the rhythms of desert life, but animals aren’t always helpless against the whims of weather. In the American Southwest, wild donkeys and horses often dig into the dusty sediment to reach cool, crystal…

Net-zero emissions targets are vague: three ways to fix

By Joeri Rogel   03/16/21  
Five years ago, the United Nations Paris climate agreement set a ceiling for global warming at well below 2 °C, ideally 1.5 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. World leaders also agreed to balance greenhouse-gas emissions…

Assessing the U.S. Climate in February 2021

During February, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 30.6°F, 3.2°F below the 20th-century average. This ranked as the 19th-coldest February in the 127-year period of record and was the coldest February since 1989. The winter…

How close are we to reaching a global warming of 1.5°C?

The impacts associated with a temperature increase of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels would be severe. Such a rise could seem like a distant reality, but we may reach it sooner than you think. 1.5°C is the…

A new UN report urges a radical shift in the way we think about nature

By Caitlin Hu  Photo: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images   02/19/21  
The United Nations released a report Thursday on the health of the planet that proposes a radical shift in the way mankind thinks about it.

The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try

By Elizabeth Weil  Photo by Andrew White   01/25/21  
A climate scientist spent years trying to get people to pay attention to the disaster ahead. His wife is exhausted. His older son thinks there’s no future. And nobody but him will use the outdoor…

2020 Tied for Warmest Year on Record, NASA Analysis Shows

Image Credit: Lori Perkins, Kathryn Mersmann, NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio   01/14/21  
Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to an analysis by NASA.

The carbon skyscraper: A new way of picturing rapid, human-caused climate change

By Bejamin Strauss   01/13/21  
That’s why firing bullets from a gun is more dangerous than tossing them by hand. Why skydivers use parachutes. Why roads have speed limits. And why it’s critical to understand how quickly human activity will…

Here’s How Scientists Want Biden to Take on Climate Change

By Andrea Thompson  Photo: Johannes Eisele, Getty Images   01/12/21  
For the past four years, climate experts have watched with dismay as Donald Trump’s presidential administration has systematically weakened climate regulations, bolstered the use of fossil fuels that drive rising temperatures, and sidelined government climate…

Inside the C.I.A., She Became a Spy for Planet Earth

By William J. Broad  Photo: Eve Edelheit, The New York Times   01/05/21  
Linda Zall played a starring role in American science that led to decades of major advances. But she never described her breakthroughs on television, or had books written about her, or received high scientific honors.…

Why 2021 could be turning point for tackling climate change

By Justin Rowlatt   01/01/21  
Countries only have only a limited time in which to act if the world is to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Here are five reasons why 2021 could be a crucial year…

Land Ecosystems Are Becoming Less Efficient at Absorbing Carbon Dioxide

By Esprit Smith   12/21/20  
Land ecosystems currently play a key role in mitigating climate change. The more carbon dioxide (CO2) plants and trees absorb during photosynthesis, the process they use to make food, the less CO2 remains trapped in…

Trump team delaying work on major climate report

By Scott Waldman  Photo: SrA Jamie Titus/UPI/Newscom   10/05/20  
The Trump administration is slow-walking a mandatory climate report by not seeking out scientists to work on it, says one of the authors of the last National Climate Assessment.

Climate scientists on 2020’s wildfires and storms

Is climate change reversible? Scott Pelley speaks with the "father of climate science" and others for an answer. Air Date: Oct 4, 2020

Project Will Delve Into How Climate and Tectonics Shaped Human Ancestors Over 25 Million Years

By Earth Institute   09/25/20  
A new project will investigate the relationships between tectonics, climate and the evolution of humans' primate ancestors in Kenya's Turkana Basin.

What’s causing climate change, in 10 charts

By David Roberts   09/11/20  
With heat waves, wildfires, intense hurricanes, and other extreme weather events in the headlines, the ravages of climate change have become undeniable and unavoidable. Who or what is responsible for this? It seems like a…

Global Warming Could Unlock Carbon From Tropical Soil

By Gabriel Popkin   08/12/20  
Warming soils in the tropics could cause microbes to release carbon dioxide from storage. One scientist called the finding “another example of why we need to worry more.”

Global death rate from rising temperatures projected to surpass the current death rate of all infectious diseases combined

How much is temperature to blame when hospital visits surge during heat waves and cold spells? What role might adaptations like indoor heating and cooling systems play in blunting those effects? And, at what cost?…

How Much Will the Planet Warm if Carbon Dioxide Levels Double?

By John Schwartz   07/22/20  
New research has sharply narrowed the range of outcomes.

Another Hole in the Ozone Layer? Climate Change May Be to Blame

By Jeremy Deaton  Photo: NASA   05/25/20  
By Jeremy Deaton You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that curbed the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. In the…

Climate Explained: What Caused Major Climate Change in the Past?

By James Renwick  Photo: sodar99 / Getty Images   05/15/20  
By James Renwick Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you'd like an expert…

50 Years From Now, Many Densely Populated Parts of the World Could be Too Hot for Humans

By Bob Berwyn  Photo by Li Yang   05/04/20  
A new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows a "surprisingly narrow" human climate niche—between 52 degrees Fahrenheit to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. And it will shift geographically more in…