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.



NASA Satellite Offers Urban Carbon Dioxide Insights

Photo: Bert Kaufmann/CC BY-SA   03/06/20  
A new NASA/university study of carbon dioxide emissions for 20 major cities around the world provides the first direct, satellite-based evidence that as a city's population density increases, the carbon dioxide it emits per person…

How Warming Winters Are Affecting Everything Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email

By Lauren Sommer, Mose Buchele   02/18/20  
Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts…

The Latest in Climate Change Attribution and the Law

A new paper provides a comprehensive overview of our understanding of how humans are affecting the global climate system, and its application in legal settings. ...

Antarctica just hit 65 degrees, its warmest temperature ever recorded

By Matthew Cappucci   02/07/20  
It comes days after Earth’s warmest January on record

Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why

By Eric Roston   02/03/20  
The simulators used to forecast warming have suddenly started giving us less time.

We may avoid the very worst climate scenario. But the next-worst is still pretty awful

By Chris Mooney and Andrew Freedman  Photo by Wolfgang Rattay   01/30/20  
The year is 2100, and the world’s 12 billion people are still burning fossil fuels with abandon. Compared with preindustrial times, the planet has warmed by 4.5 degrees Celsius, or 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit. The atmosphere…

Climate Politics/Capitol Light (41)

By Joel Stronberg   01/27/20  
The Trump administration has gone to great pains to purge Obama-era science advisers from federal advisory boards and replace them with their own. Trump’s scientists seem to have the integrity many of his administrative appointees,…

Science ranks grow thin in Trump administration

By Annie Gowen, Juliet Eilperin  Photo by Nati Harnik/AP   01/24/20  
Dozens of government computers sit in a nondescript building here, able to connect to a data model that could help farmers manage the impact of a changing climate on their crops.

What does ‘dangerous’ climate change really mean?

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo by Michael Parkin   01/22/20  
The conversation around climate change can sometimes seem riddled with magic numbers and dark thresholds. Researchers talk about the dangers of surpassing 2 degrees of warming. Headlines blare about the importance of reducing emissions by…

What does ‘dangerous’ climate change really mean?

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo by Michael Parkin   01/22/20  
The conversation around climate change can sometimes seem riddled with magic numbers and dark thresholds. Researchers talk about the dangers of surpassing 2 degrees of warming. Headlines blare about the importance of reducing emissions by…

Ozone-Depleting Substances Caused Half of Late 20th-Century Arctic Warming, Says Study

A study finds that ozone-depleting substances caused about a third of all global warming from 1955 to 2005, and half of Arctic warming and sea ice loss during that period. ...

What is climate change? A really simple guide

Photo: BBC News   01/16/20  
Human activities have increased carbon-dioxide emissions, driving up temperatures. Extreme weather and melting polar ice are among the possible effects.

Climate Change Is a Planetary Emergency — How Can We Avert Disaster?

By Sandrine Dixson-DeclèveWhile politics continue to cripple efforts to fight the planetary emergency, the science remains as unequivocal and irrefutable as ever.We have already crossed a...

2019 in climate science: A continued warming trend and ‘bleak’ research

The last six years have been the six hottest globally ever recorded by humans.

Slowing global warming By accident

The world has already slowed global warming more successfully than the Kyoto Agreement and we kind of did it by accident....

Trump’s Hand-Picked Scientists Rebuke EPA Rollbacks

A top science-advisory board staffed with many of the Trump administration's hand-picked appointees rebuked three of Trump's most sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations as flying in...

Quiz: The Decade in Science News

On the event horizon of a new decade, keep calm and put your lab coat on, and test your knowledge of some of the developments that made headlines in the 2010s. ...

How we know global warming is real

By Chris Mooney, John Muyskens, Aaron Steckelberg, Harry Stevens and Monica Ulmanu   12/19/19  
Sonnblick Observatory opened and began recording the weather in 1886, a technological wonder that measured how wind, barometric pressure and temperatures changed at upper altitudes, and during storms.

What are climate scientists’ hopes, concerns for 2020?

By Bud Ward   12/16/19  
These top scientists share their views on outlook for climate change in 2020. A 'tipping point' possibly?

Climate Scientist Ángel Muñoz Receives Early Career Award

The award from US CLIVAR) recognizes Muñoz's ‘outstanding contributions' to the research and applications of subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions. ...

Saving the Ozone Layer 30 Years Ago Slowed Global Warming. Can Similar Cooperation Now Solve the Climate Crisis?

The Montreal Protocol, a 1987 international treaty prohibiting the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to save the ozone layer, was the first successful multilateral agreement to successfully...

The Climate Crisis Is Now So Bad That Even the Arctic Is Emitting Greenhouse Gas

By Ryan Bort  Photo by Tim Graham   12/11/19  
The report details a rapidly changing Arctic environment featuring melting ice, a greener landscape, and, alarmingly, greenhouse-gas emissions on par with some large nations. The Arctic could be releasing upwards of 600 million tons of…

Americans broadly accept climate science, but many are fuzzy on the details

By Emily Guskin, Scott Clement and Joel Achenbach  Photo by Emily Guskin   12/09/19  
Americans remain shaky on the details of climate science even as they have grown increasingly concerned about human activity warming the Earth, according to a national poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family…

The World Solved the Ozone Problem. It Can Solve Climate Change.

By The Editorial Board   12/07/19  
Nearly 50 years ago, three chemists named Mario Molina, Sherwood Rowland and Paul Crutzen found evidence that chlorofluorocarbons, chemicals known as CFCs and released from aerosol sprays, were weakening the ozone layer that functions as…

Carbon Dioxide | Vital Signs of the Planet

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions.

Warming toll: 1 degree hotter, trillions of tons of ice gone

By Seth Borenstein   12/01/19  
The world has gotten hotter, lost trillions of tons of ice and suffered more weather disasters since climate negotiations started

Cut Greenhouse Gases Immediately or Face Catastrophe, New UN Report Warns

A new report from the United Nations found that the world is headed toward climate catastrophe if countries around the world do not reduce their greenhouse...

Public records confirm EPA’s “censored science” proposal was an end-run around Congress

The Trump administration is reportedly expanding its dangerous plan — originally proposed by former Administrator Scott Pruitt — to limit the scientific evidence that the agency can consider when establishing public health protections. According to…

EPA Proposal to Restrict Science Panders to Polluters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to significantly limit the use of science in agency rulemaking around public health, the The New York Times...

Climategate 10 years on: what lessons have we learned?

By Robin McKie  Photo: David Goldman/AP   11/09/19  
A series of leaked emails was leapt on by climate-change deniers to discredit the data, but their efforts may have only slowed the search for solutions

‘Untold suffering’: Global scientists warn of climate emergency

More than 11,000 scientists from around the world warn climate change will unleash "untold suffering" and called for action including curbs on population.

11,000 Scientists Declare a Climate Emergency

On the 40th anniversary of the First World Climate Conference, more than 11,000 scientists have come together to urge immediate action on the climate crisis, The...

Ozone Depleting Gas Declines After Rising For Years

An ozone depleting gas is on the decline after rising since 2012, according to preliminary data reported by scientists yesterday, as the New York Times reported. Scientists...

Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’

By Damian Carrington  Photo: Michael Owen Baker/AP   11/05/19  
Statement sets out ‘vital signs’ as indicators of magnitude of the climate emergency

More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency’

By Andrew Freedman  Photo by Kate Flock/Bloomberg News   11/05/19  
Study outlines six major steps that ‘must’ be taken to address the situation. A new report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries from a broad range of disciplines warns that the planet “clearly and unequivocally…

Environmental Scientists Want Help Coping With Their Grief

By Marlene CimonsScientist Tim Gordon studies how rising temperatures are damaging corals in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, where intense cyclones and warm waters have caused extensive...

This Is What 2030 Could Look Like if We Win the War on Climate Change

By Ida AukenBy 2030, your CO2 emissions will be greatly reduced. Meat on your dinner table will be a rare sight. Water and the air you...

Can Climate Affect Earthquakes, Or Are the Connections Shaky?

The twin magnitude 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes that struck the Ridgecrest area in California’s Mojave Desert northeast of Los Angeles on July 4 and 5, respectively, were felt by up to 30 million people in…

How plastics—and the chemicals in and attached to them—threaten future generations

Redesign plastics. Reform chemical regulation. Recharge health advocates. That was the take-home message from Pete Myers—chair, founder, and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of Environmental Health News—at the Plastic Health Summit 2019, which…

NASA’s Role in Studying Earth’s Atmosphere

Studying Earth’s atmospheric composition is a key focus area for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Earth Science Division. NASA’s Atmospheric Composition focus area conducts research on Earth’s atmosphere, including its chemical and physical properties, Earth’s…

‘They should be allowed to cry’: Ecological disaster taking toll on scientists’ mental health

‘We’re documenting destruction of world’s most beautiful ecosystems, it’s impossible to be detached’...

Science is in “crisis” under Trump, new reports show

Between 2010 and 2017, Washington policymakers became less supportive of the science behind climate change....

‘Science Under Siege’ From Trump Admin: New Report Warns We Have Reached ‘Crisis Point’

By Jessica CorbettThe Trump administration's attacks on science have reached a "crisis point," according to policy experts and ex-government officials who published a report on Thursday...

Bipartisan Report Says Trump’s Abuse Has Pushed Federal Science to a ‘Crisis’

By Lisa Friedman   10/03/19  
All presidents over the past two decades have nudged science to support their policies, but a report out of N.Y.U. said the Trump administration has driven federal science to a “crisis point.”

Meet the 3 Climate Scientists Named MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Fellows

By Bob Berwyn  Photo: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation   09/29/19  
Their research is helping answer existential questions of our time: How much will sea level rise, how fast, and what will be the impact on human civilizations?

The Atmosphere: Tracking the Ongoing Recovery of Earth’s Ozone Hole

Part Three As discussed earlier in this feature series (see Parts One and Two), Earth’s atmosphere is largely able to cleanse itself of pollutants, but there are a few things that humans have produced that…

The Atmosphere: Getting a Handle on Carbon Dioxide

Part Two Earth’s atmosphere is resilient to many of the changes humans have imposed on it. But, says atmospheric scientist David Crisp of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that doesn’t necessarily mean that…

Are We at a Climate Change Turning Point? Obama’s EPA Chief Thinks So

By Andrea ThompsonIn the debate over how to respond to the perils posed by the earth's changing climate, the ground has been rapidly shifting in recent...

How science has done women wrong

Why women still aren't equally represented in science, both as researchers, and in science done about women ...

What Does ’12 Years to Act on Climate Change’ (Now 11 Years) Really Mean?

By Bob Berwyn  Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images   08/27/19  
It doesn't mean the world can wait until 2030 to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or that chaos will erupt in 2030. Here's what the science shows.