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.
By Brian K Sullivan Photo: David Ryder, Getty Images
Deadly floods are slamming the US Heartland. More than 2,000 miles away, dangerous heat is scorching the Pacific Northwest. The same phenomenon is to blame for both. A massive bend in the jet stream --…
By Joel Stronberg
In recent days Republicans in the US House of Representatives released the first of what will be a six-part policy platform on energy, climate, and conservation. The strategy was the work of the Energy, Climate,…
By Carol Rasmussen
On June 10, Las Vegas reached a record daily high temperature of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), and temperatures of the ground surface itself were higher still. NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on…
By Julien Emile-Geay Chart: The Conversation/CC-BY-ND
By now, few people question the reality that humans are altering Earth’s climate. The real question is: How quickly can we halt, even reverse, the damage? Part of the answer to this question lies in…
By Adele Peters
The planet changes quickly: More than half a million acres are burning in New Mexico. A megadrought is shrinking Lake Mead. The Alps are turning from white to green. Development continues to expand, from cities…
By Sam Moore Photo: Sam Moore
That man is George Woodwell, and since 1985, the center he founded has been deeply involved in climate research and policy at home and abroad. Today, it employs nearly 100 scientists and staff, whose work…
By Fiona Harvey Photo: Courtesy of Dr Katharine Hayhoe
The world cannot adapt its way out of the climate crisis, and counting on adaptation to limit damage is no substitute for urgently cutting greenhouse gases, a leading climate scientist has warned.
By Casey Quackenbush Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Frustration, rage, terror, desperation: After decades of being ignored, scientists are resorting to more radical action to communicate the dire urgency of the climate crisis.
By Kasha Patel Photo: Charlie Riedel , AP
Since signing the Paris climate agreement in 2015, nations around the world have focused on one climate goal: limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels this century. But as…
By Matthew Siegfries & Others
A new discovery deep beneath one of Antarctica’s rivers of ice could change scientists’ understanding of how the ice flows, with important implications for estimating future sea level rise.
By Andrew Freedman Photo: Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest levels on record for any calendar month during April, averaging 420 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since observations began in 1958, according…
By Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech
The protest came after a report from the UN stated humanity only has three more years to curb greenhouse gas emissions and avoid climate-related disasters...
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
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…
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.…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 (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,…
The Climate Impacts Group provides a range of technical resources that can be used to help address climate impacts.
The CASCs develop data and tools that address the informational needs of natural and cultural resource managers.
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…
The State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Based on Global Observations through 2018
A snapshot of salient events and trends affecting the global climate, the global oceans, the tropics, the Arctic, Antarctica, and regional climates.
Extreme Weather Videos
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…
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.
CLIMATE DENIAL CROCK OF THE WEEK WITH PETER SINCLAIR
By Christa Roselund 08/26/19
High temperatures and humidity make solar panels less efficient. What does that mean for solar power as the climate changes?
By Rohit R Nair Photo by jonathansloane/Getty 08/26/19
A team of scientists has urged people to retreat from the coastal areas while they still can in order to move out of harm’s way, rather than being forced to move after disasters triggered by…
Lamont scientists representing a range of research disciplines and career stages are to receive honors from the internationally influential earth and space science organization. ...
By Naomi Oreskes, Michael Oppenheimer, Dale Jamieson Photo: Getty 08/19/19
A book entitled Discerning Experts explains why—and what can be done about it.
Tree in Harvard Forest outfitted with sensors, cameras, and other digital equipment sends out on-the-ground coverage.
The analysis, based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, examines annual temperature data for the Lower 48 U.S. states and more than 3,000 counties....
Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist, says officials refused to promote his groundbreaking research on the effects of climate change on rice. ...
By Maria Caffrey Photo by Martin Adams 07/25/19
I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration — and it cost me my job.
By Kelsey Piper 06/28/19
The debate over whether climate change will end life on Earth, explained.
Observational data confirms that Hadley cell circulation is weakening, which has important consequences for future rainfall in the subtropics. ...
By Ellen Knickmeyer And Seth Borenstein Photo by Brennan Linsley 06/14/19
Once a skeptic about climate change, Jim Bridenstine came around to the prevailing view of scientists before he took over as NASA administrator. That evolution did not sit well with a Trump environmental adviser, nor…
By Michael Barbaro Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times 05/29/19
After two years spent unraveling the policies of his predecessors, President Trump and his appointees are going after influential government reports.
By Jessica Merzdorf 05/23/19
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing…
By Chelsea Harvey Photo: Leonello Calvetti/ Science Photo Library/ Newscom 05/16/19
Another climate milestone soared by last weekend when scientists announced that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels hit 415 parts per million for the first time ever (Climatewire, May 7).
Lamont’s Radley Horton explains that enhanced forecasts and better communication can reduce climate risks and create new economic opportunities. ...
By Yasemin Saplakoglu | LiveScience Photo: Shutterstock 05/15/19
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for 800,000 years — since before our species evolved.
By Peter Sinclair 03/21/19
With the 20 year anniversary of the publication of the hockey stick graph, time for a review. Above, a history of science denial, from tobacco to climate change, finds that the same characters keep showing…
By Chris Mooney Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters 02/20/19
A new ‘emissions gap’ report says we’re even further from where we need to be than we thought.
Climatologists Warren Washington and Michael Mann will share the 2019 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, it was announced Tuesday.Washington and Mann "have the courage and commitment to inform and advance public discourse and policy on…
By Marlene Cimons Photo source: National Center for Atmospheric Research 02/12/19
Climate scientist Warren Washington will be awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.
By David Leonhardt 01/24/19
It’s not the obvious one. It’s the one that will affect our grandkids.
By Marc Lallanilla 01/03/19
Behind the struggle to address global warming and climate change lies the increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
Citizens’ Climate Radio Ep. 31: Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and Dr. Jeffrey Bennett Citizens’ Climate Radio is a monthly podcast hosted by CCL volunteer Peterson Toscano. Browse all our past episode recaps here, or listen to…
By Christian Cotroneo Photo by Hiroyuki Imachi 12/10/18
There's a vast and untouched ecosystem bristling with lifeforms that have never seen the light of day. It's bigger than all of the Earth's oceans. And it's beneath our very feet.
By Brady Dennis and Chris Mooney 12/05/18
As nations assemble in Poland for climate talks, the figures suggest there is no clear end in sight to the growth of humanity’s contribution to climate change.
By Katharine Hayhoe Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images 12/04/18
The Fourth National Climate Assessment — the work of 13 federal agencies and more than 350 scientists, including me — is clear: The Earth is warming faster than at any time in human history, and…
By Brittany Ward 12/03/18
Paleoclimatologists are digging into the connections between the collapse of Maya Civilization and extreme droughts
By David Nield 11/22/18
Our planet is constantly changing each and every day, and now thanks to researchers at the University of Cincinnati, we can see some of those shifts mapped over the course of a quarter of a…
“Hopefully we will no longer see the science committee used as a messaging tool for the fossil fuel industry,” says Rep. Bill Foster, a science committee member....
The percentage contribution to global warming over the past 50-65 years is shown in two categories, human causes (left) and natural causes (right), from various peer-reviewed studies (colors).
By Matt McGrath Photo by Getty Images 10/25/18
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others have all stated that extracting CO2 from the air will be needed if we are to bend the rising temperature curve before the end of this century.
By Bill Gates 10/17/18
The five areas where we need innovation.
By Beth Skwarecki Photo by Getty Images 10/09/18
The world is warming. There’s no longer any doubt of that. With a new report breaking down exactly how fucked we are, it’s time to back up and talk about the basics of the situation…
By Beth Skwarecki Photo by Chip Somodevilla 10/09/18
The world is warming. There’s no longer any doubt of that. With a new report breaking down exactly how fucked we are, it’s time to back up and talk about the basics of the situation…
By Coral Davenport 10/07/18
A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires…
By Sarah Kaplan 08/30/18
After the end of the last ice age — when sea levels rose, glaciers receded and global average temperatures soared as much as seven degrees Celsius — the Earth’s ecosystems were utterly transformed. Forests evolved…
By Yasemin Saplakoglu 08/30/18
For a preview of what's to come for the Earth's ecosystems, look to the past. In a new study, an international group of researchers analyzed fossil records to track how the planet’s vegetation changed as…
By The Nation 08/29/18
Writers like Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Mark Hertsgaard, James Hansen, and Chris Hayes have produced some of the most farsighted reporting and analysis of the climate crisis to appear anywhere. They remind us that solutions…
By Marlene Cimons 08/13/18
Nature is breathing. Trees inhale carbon dioxide and store that carbon in their leaves and branches. After they die, microbes in the soil gobble up their carbon-rich leftovers and exhale carbon dioxide back into the…
By Jonathan Watts 08/07/18
A domino-like cascade of melting ice, warming seas, shifting currents and dying forests could tilt the Earth into a “hothouse” state beyond which human efforts to reduce emissions will be increasingly futile, a group of…
By Peter Brannen 08/06/18
During the rise of mammals, Earth's temperatures spiked in a scary way that the planet may experience again soon.
By Laura Poppick 08/05/18
Along with its anxiety-inducing effects, climate change also offers an interesting opportunity to consider fascinating, interconnected processes on Earth. The smallest to the largest components of the planet – from bacteria to volcanoes – all…
By Nathaniel Rich 08/01/18
This narrative is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. With…
By James Hansen Photo by Ali Smith for the Guardian 06/19/18
James Hansen, who gave a climate warning in 1988 Senate testimony, says real hoax is by leaders claiming to take action.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP) Climate Science Special Report (CSSR), which serves as Volume I of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), describes current trends in the climate globally and for the United…
Warming of the planet by 2 degrees Celsius is often seen as a "tipping point" that people should try to avoid by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.But the Earth is very likely to exceed that change,…
By YaleClimateConnections 08/04/15
Leading Scientists compare current Human pressure on the planet's life support systems to great Extinction events of the past.