Climate Change FAQs
Given the complexity of global change, interested citizenry can easily feel overwhelmed and confused by the equally complex research findings.
As part of the Center for Global Change Science's outreach efforts, this list of frequent questions and answers is intended to provide reliable information to enhance understanding of the issues related to global change.
(This list is compiled from material on other websites and the links go to the content provided at those sources.)
- Is our planet warming?
- Isn't the climate always changing?
- Is the current climate change unusual compared to earlier changes in Earth's history?
- Aren't all these changes due to the Sun and natural factors?
- How do we know that the CO2 increase is caused by human activities?
- What about the urban heat island effect?
- Will a warming climate have more positive or negative effects?
- Would climate change and higher CO2 levels strongly affect plant growth and food production?
- How reliable are the models used to make projections of future climate change?
- Are extreme events, like heat waves, droughts or floods, expected to change as the Earth's climate changes?
For more examples of these types of questions and answers, visit these suggested sites:
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions
- U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research Climate: Climate Frequently Asked Questions
- U.S National Academy of Sciences — Climate Change at the National Academies
- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Global Warming FAQs
- American Institute of Physics: The Discovery of Global Warming
- Environmental Defense Fund: Global Warming Myths and Facts
- The Royal Society: Climate Change Controversies: A Simple Guide
- UK Met Office: Climate Guide
- U.S. Global Change Research Information Office: Ask Dr. Global Change
- The Encyclopedia of Earth: Climate Change FAQs
- Pew Center on Global Climate Change: Global Warming Basics
- Oxford University: The basics of climate prediction
- Skeptical Science - getting skeptical about global warming skepticism