Impacts of Climate Change

Examine the current and potential impacts of climate change.

Predictions of Future Global Climate

Climate models predict that Earth’s global average temperate will rise in the future. By the end of the century, 2°C of warming may be inevitable and, if greenhouse gases continue to rise at current levels, warming of about 4°C (7.2°F) can be expected. Only with swift action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will we be able to reduce some of the projected impacts of climate change.

Climate Change: Regional Impacts

Changes in Earth's climate have different effects in different areas of the world. Some places will warm much more than others, some regions will receive more rainfall, while others are exposed to more frequent droughts.

Warming of the Polar Regions

While global average temperature has risen 1°C (1.8°F) above the 1950-1980 average, our planet's polar regions are experiencing warming at a faster rate than other places.

Effects of Climate Change on Ecology

Our climate is warming, which is changing the physical environments that support living systems. In many places, environments are changing so fast that plants and animals cannot keep up, endangering entire ecosystems.

Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health

How is climate change impacting human health? Explore how shifts in extreme natural events, vector-borne diseases, and water will affect human populations.

The Water Cycle and Climate Change

Water moves from place to place through the water cycle, which is changing as climate changes. Learn how the water cycle is changing as global temperatures rise. 

Rising Sea Level

A rise in sea levels is one of the most well-known consequences of global warming. There are two ways that higher temperatures cause higher sea level: (1) melting ice sheets and glaciers and (2) thermal expansion of seawater.

Why the Polar Vortex Keeps Breaking out of the Arctic

Why does the Polar Vortex keep breaking out of the Arctic? Surprisingly, warming global temperatures play a role.

Studying Lions from Space as Climate Changes

The American Southwest is becoming more prone to drought as Earth warms. How will the drier conditions affect mountain lions, the biggest cats in North America?