(1 of 12)

In the past 2 years carbon dioxide concentrations exceeded 400 parts per million in the atmosphere. How many other times has that happened in the past 800,000 years?

Ah, in fact, it has never happened.

It’s been a long time since there’s been this much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Average CO2 levels measured at the Mauna Loa observatory, the gold standard, exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) during spring 2013 and again in spring 2014, a level unseen in the course of human history. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 42 percent, from around 280 ppm to levels closer to 400 ppm due in large part to humans burning fossil fuels.

Correct!

It’s been a long time since there’s been this much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Average CO2 levels measured at the Mauna Loa observatory, the gold standard, exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) during spring 2013 and again in spring 2014, a level unseen in the course of human history. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 42 percent, from around 280 ppm to levels closer to 400 ppm due in large part to humans burning fossil fuels.



(2 of 12)

By how much has the global average temperature risen since 1880?

Oops . . . global temps have actually risen by 1.5°F since 1880.

Today’s planet is warmer than the one your great-grandparents knew by about 1.5°F. The warming trend of the past 50 years has been especially rapid, with global temperatures rising at nearly twice the rate of the past 100 years. The rise in temperatures is largely due to human greenhouse gas emissions.

Correct!

Today’s planet is warmer than the one your great-grandparents knew by about 1.5°F. The warming trend of the past 50 years has been especially rapid, with global temperatures rising at nearly twice the rate of the past 100 years. The rise in temperatures is largely due to human greenhouse gas emissions.



(3 of 12)

When was the last year with below average global temperatures?

Sorry, but wrong. It was 1976.

Ah, the heady days of 1976. Wings and Elton John ruled the charts. The U.S. celebrated its bicentennial and Jimmy Carter won the presidency. And it was the last year the planet had below-average temperatures in more than 130 years of recordkeeping. The global average temperature that year was a scant 0.1°F below the long-term average. Since then, it’s been nearly four decades of hotter temperatures.

Correct!

Ah, the heady days of 1976. Wings and Elton John ruled the charts. The U.S. celebrated its bicentennial and Jimmy Carter won the presidency. And it was the last year the planet had below-average temperatures in more than 130 years of recordkeeping. The global average temperature that year was a scant 0.1°F below the long-term average. Since then, it’s been nearly four decades of hotter temperatures.



(4 of 12)

What was the warmest year on record for the globe?

Oops . . . the warmest year was actually 2010.

It might be remembered as the year of Katy Perry and the Vancouver Winter Olympics, but 2010 also holds the distinction of being the globe’s hottest on record. The global average temperature that year was more than 1.2°F above the 20th century average. Bonus fact: while it’s been nearly three decades since a cooler-than-normal month, it’s been nearly four decades since a cooler-than-normal year.

Correct!

It might be remembered as the year of Katy Perry and the Vancouver Winter Olympics, but 2010 also holds the distinction of being the globe’s hottest on record. The global average temperature that year was more than 1.2°F above the 20th century average. Bonus fact: while it’s been nearly three decades since a cooler-than-normal month, it’s been nearly four decades since a cooler-than-normal year.



(5 of 12)

The rate of ocean acidification today has not been experienced in at least . . .

Sorry. The correct answer was 300,000,000.

If you thought it was a long time since atmospheric CO2 levels were this high, ocean acidification is a whole other ballgame. There’s only one period in the past 300 million years when ocean acidification rates were even remotely comparable to today’s rates. Even during this period of relatively rapid acidification, which was accompanied by major extinctions, the rate of ocean acidification was only one tenth of what it is today. Rising CO2 emissions mean the acidification rate may increase further, with severe consequences for the world’s oceans.

Correct!

If you thought it was a long time since atmospheric CO2 levels were this high, ocean acidification is a whole other ballgame. There’s only one period in the past 300 million years when ocean acidification rates were even remotely comparable to today’s rates. Even during this period of relatively rapid acidification, which was accompanied by major extinctions, the rate of ocean acidification was only one tenth of what it is today. Rising CO2 emissions mean the acidification rate may increase further, with severe consequences for the world’s oceans.



(6 of 12)

Which of the following is leading directly to rising sea levels?

Ah, the correct answer is, in fact, melting land ice.

They’re all water and they all end up in the oceans, but glaciers and ice sheets are the only ones that directly contribute to sea level rise. Sea ice is already in the ocean and while disappearing snow cover and extreme precipitation are indicators of climate change, they are elements of a seasonal cycle and don’t create any significant net increase in ocean's volume.

Correct!

They’re all water and they all end up in the oceans, but glaciers and ice sheets are the only ones that directly contribute to sea level rise. Sea ice is already in the ocean and while disappearing snow cover and extreme precipitation are indicators of climate change, they are elements of a seasonal cycle and don’t create any significant net increase in ocean's volume.



(7 of 12)

How have the number of daily record high temperatures in the U.S. changed since the 1950s?

Daily records have actually increased.

The record shows that record highs are becoming more common in the U.S. In the 1950s, daily record highs and record lows occurred at about the same frequency. But by the 2000s, record highs outpaced record lows by a ratio of 2:1, something you wouldn’t expect to happen solely by chance.

Correct!

The record shows that record highs are becoming more common in the U.S. In the 1950s, daily record highs and record lows occurred at about the same frequency. But by the 2000s, record highs outpaced record lows by a ratio of 2:1, something you wouldn’t expect to happen solely by chance.



(8 of 12)

How has the length of wildfire season changed in the western U.S. in the past 40 years?

Yikes . . . wildfire season has increased by 75 days

From 1970-2010, the burn season in the western U.S. started earlier and ended later, increasing by 75 days overall. Warmer spring temperatures have led to earlier snowmelt and increased evaporation, helping fuel a longer wildfire season and a rise in large fires. For every 1.8°F rise in temperature, the National Research Council predicts a quadrupling in the area burned in the western U.S.

Correct!

From 1970-2010, the burn season in the western U.S. started earlier and ended later, increasing by 75 days overall. Warmer spring temperatures have led to earlier snowmelt and increased evaporation, helping fuel a longer wildfire season and a rise in large fires. For every 1.8°F rise in temperature, the National Research Council predicts a quadrupling in the area burned in the western U.S.



(9 of 12)

What U.S. region has seen the biggest increase in extreme precipitation since the 1950s?

Actually, The Northeast takes the cake here.

Every region of the U.S. has seen an uptick in extreme precipitation events, but the Northeast is well ahead of the pack. From 1958-2012, heavy downpours have increased a whopping 71 percent for the Northeast. In other words, if you live there, invest in galoshes.

Correct!

Every region of the U.S. has seen an uptick in extreme precipitation events, but the Northeast is well ahead of the pack. From 1958-2012, heavy downpours have increased a whopping 71 percent for the Northeast. In other words, if you live there, invest in galoshes.



(10 of 12)

About how much has the Arctic sea ice extent decreased, on average, each decade since 1978?

Actually, Arctic sea ice has decreased 190,000 square miles since 1978.

Put another way, that’s an area larger than California disappearing each decade. Ice isn’t only shrinking, it’s getting younger and thinner. As sea ice melts, more of the sun’s heat is absorbed by darker ocean water, which could cause a positive feedback loop of more warming and melting.

Correct!

Put another way, that’s an area larger than California disappearing each decade. Ice isn’t only shrinking, it’s getting younger and thinner. As sea ice melts, more of the sun’s heat is absorbed by darker ocean water, which could cause a positive feedback loop of more warming and melting.



(11 of 12)

How much higher are temperatures projected to rise by 2100 if we keep using greenhouse gases the way we are today?

Temps could rise as high as 11°F

The U.S. — and world in general — is projected to get hotter in the future due to greenhouse gas emissions. But just how hot? Temperatures are expected to increase up to 11°F in the U.S. based on current greenhouse gas emissions trends. Even if emissions slow, the U.S. is still likely to warm 4°F by century’s end.

Correct!

The U.S. — and world in general — is projected to get hotter in the future due to greenhouse gas emissions. But just how hot? Temperatures are expected to increase up to 11°F in the U.S. based on current greenhouse gas emissions trends. Even if emissions slow, the U.S. is still likely to warm 4°F by century’s end.



(12 of 12)

What percentage of climate scientists are convinced that human-caused climate change is happening?

It’s actually 97%

Based on the evidence, more than 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening. That’s a lot of agreement for a group of people who pride themselves on not reaching agreements easily.

Correct!

Based on the evidence, more than 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening. That’s a lot of agreement for a group of people who pride themselves on not reaching agreements easily.

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