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 too optimistic 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.

This visualization shows monthly global temperature anomalies (changes from an average) between the years 1880 and 2021. Whites and blues indicate cooler temperatures, while oranges and reds show warmer temperatures. As you can see, global temperatures have warmed from mainly human activities as time has progressed.
These temperatures are based on data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Anomalies are defined relative to a base period of 1951 to 1980. The data file used to create this visualization can be accessed here.



Climate Change 2021The Physical Science Basis Summary for Policymakers

This Summary for Policymakers (SPM) presents key findings of the Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)1

Climate Time Machine

This visualization shows the annual Arctic sea ice minimum since 1979. At the end of each summer, the sea ice cover reaches its minimum extent, leaving what is called the perennial ice cover. The area…

Earth Observing Dashboard

Global environmental changes observed by NASA, ESA, and JAXA . Here you can browse the Earth Observation datasets and use the interactive features, including maps that compute simple analytics by drawing an area of interest.…

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…

Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

The State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Based on Global Observations through 2018

A Look at 2018: Takeaway Points from the State of the Climate Supplement

A snapshot of salient events and trends affecting the global climate, the global oceans, the tropics, the Arctic, Antarctica, and regional climates.

Climate Central

Extreme Weather Videos

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with…

Massachusetts raises 2050 waste reduction target, may expand organics ban

A new draft solid waste master plan from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) calls for a 30% reduction in annual disposal by 2030 and a 90% reduction by 2050. An estimated 5.7 million…


The IPCC provides regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United…

Following are a series of videos, dating back to 1956, collected by Peter Sinclair.




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  
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, came out with its sixth annual climate change assessment on Monday. The IPCC report, which compiles all of the latest scientific research on climate change…

A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us.

By Brad Plumer and Henry Fountain  Photo: David Swanson/Reuters   08/09/21  
Nations have delayed curbing their fossil-fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years, though there is still a short window to prevent the…

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…

Scientists hired by oil giants predicted climate crisis 60 years ago: Report

Edited by: Aditi Gautam   07/05/21  
More than 26 lawsuits have been filed in the US against oil companies for their role in climate change. The internal documents of these companies contain research data collected by their teams regarding the effect…

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.

Ten Thousand Years of Climate Change History

We talk so much about how global warming is reshaping the present, and what the future might bring. But what did Earth's past look like. To celebrate hitting 10k subscribers, I'm looking ten thousand years…

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  
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…

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 newly funded project will investigate the forces that shaped the environments in which the ancestors of humans evolved, by exploring the relationships between tectonics, climate and mammal evolution 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  
You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that...

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

By James Renwick  Photo: sodar99 / Getty Images   05/15/20  
By James RenwickClimate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.If you...

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…

The Lab That Discovered Global Warming Has Good News and Bad News

By Richard Schiffman  Photo: Adrienne Grunwald for The New York Times   04/24/20  
The good news is that the pandemic shows “science works.” The bad news? Global warming may be far more dangerous than a pandemic.

Earth Is Hurtling Towards a Catastrophe Worse Than the Dinosaur Extinction

By Andrew Glikson   04/03/20  
By Andrew Glikson At several points in the history of our planet, increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have caused extreme global warming,...

Human Cooperation Can Restore Climate Patterns: The Case of the Ozone Layer and the Southern Jet Stream

By Olivia Rosane  Photo: NASA   03/26/20  
Emissions from the chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons used as refrigerants and aerosols didn't just burn a hole in the ozone layer. They also shifted the Southern Hemisphere's...

New 3D Methane Models Help NASA to Track Global Trends

By Kristin Toussaint  Photo: Goddard Media Studios/NASA   03/26/20  
A three-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations around the world is helping researchers to understand the complex gas, which constitutes the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas...