The graphs in this activity are from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report of Working Group 1 (published in October 2013).
Climate change over the past century is well documented thanks to innovations in instrumentation, increased numbers of monitoring locations worldwide, and satellite observations since the mid to late 20th Century. Observations show that, worldwide, temperature has increased over decades although there is variability year to year. Some of the heat has made its way into the ocean. Sea level rise, due to melting glacial ice and thermal expansion of seawater, has been documented as well.
For more information:
- The climate section of this website provides more context for this activity.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an international organization that includes scientists and government representatives from around the world. While the IPCC includes hundreds of climate scientists in the writing of reports, and thousands more who review the reports, they are not responsible for science research as part of their work with the IPCC. Instead, every six or seven years, IPCC scientists are asked to review and survey our current understanding of climate change, its risks, its impacts, and strategies for mitigation and adaptation based on the scientific literature during the latest six- to seven-year period. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the IPCC in 1988.
This activity was developed by Lisa Gardiner of the UCAR Center for Science Education.