Climate Change Causes and Consequences

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Earth

Global climate depends on the amount of energy that gets here from the Sun, the amount of energy that bounces back out to space, and the amount that gets trapped in the Earth system. Learn about the factors that affect the climate of our planet.

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Some factors that have the power to change global climate are natural, like volcanic eruptions and changes in the amount of solar energy. Other factors that are changing climate today are caused by humans, like the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Climate is changing. During the past century Earth’s average temperature rose 0.6° Celsius (1.1°F) and during this century it continues to climb. Find out what's causing the change.

A small shift in average temperatures can result in a significant number of days with record heat, and far fewer days of record cold.

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Learn more about how warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns are having impacts on the planet, and what might be in store for the future.

Forensics of a hurricane.

How is weather is changing in response to climate change? Learn how scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research are discovering more about the connections between climate and weather.

Things to do

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Learn to collect and graph local weather data, and that daily weather measurements are highly variable compared to long-term climate data.

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Investigate maps and data to learn about the connections between hurricanes and climate, places where hurricanes occur and how climate change may be affecting their strength.

From Dog Walking To Weather and Climate

There is much more variation in the path that a dog takes as compared with a person walking the dog, but they are both headed the same way. Similarly, weather can be highly variable as compared with the overall pattern of climate.

Model Simulation of Past, Present, and Future Climate Change

Take a look at how an NCAR climate model predicts past, present, and possible future climate in this vizualization of temperature change over time.