Climate Change: The Facts    

  • "Climate Change: The Facts" covers the basics of climate change. It's a resource that you can use time and again in your broadcasts, social media and community outreach — such as school visits, as your calendar starts to fill up with school back in session.

  • Not only will this release be remain archived through this Climate Matters, but it will also be at the top of our Climate Matters library page:

As recently as the late 1980s, the idea that emissions of greenhouse gases would change the climate was still mostly theoretical. Temperatures might be warming and sea level might be rising, but if so, the signal was hidden in the noise of natural variability. Starting around 1990, these and other signals of a changing climate emerged and they’ve gotten stronger ever since.

The warming trend does not always follow an unbroken line upward, but over decades, the trend is clear. Between the recorded data, the underlying scientific theory, the study of ancient climate, and the projected future of climate models, the big picture shows that anthropogenic climate change is happening.

This week’s Climate Matters is a quick, illustrated guide to the basics of climate change — from the atmospheric chemistry of greenhouse gases to the observed changes in numerous climate indicators to the reasons we know the warming is not just a normal climate cycle. We’ve also included references to authoritative sources, so when you cite “Climate Change: The Facts,” you know just where those facts came from.

Fact #1: Carbon Dioxide is a Heat-Trapping Gas

Suggested Tweet: Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas & we are adding more to the atmosphere all the time. #climatematters

Fact #2: We Are Adding More Carbon Dioxide to the Atmosphere All the Time

Suggested Tweet: Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas & we are adding more to the atmosphere all the time. #climatematters

Fact #3: Temperatures Are Rising

Suggested Tweet: Earth's average temperature is 1.6°F higher than it was in 1900. #climatematters

Fact #4: Sea Level is Rising

Suggested Tweet: Sea levels are rising, making high tides, storm surges and costal flooding more damaging. #climatematters

Fact #5: Climate Change Can Be Natural, But What’s Happening Now Can’t Be Explained By Natural Forces

Suggested Tweet: Climate change can be natural, but what’s happening now can’t be explained by natural forces #climatematters

Fact #6: The Terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” Are Almost Interchangeable

Suggested Tweet: Greenhouse gases raise the temperature. But a lot of other things change as a result: #climatematters

Fact #7: We Can Already See The Effects of Climate Change

Suggested Tweet: All sorts of observations point to a warming world besides rising temps & rising seas. Among them: #climatematters

Fact #8: Large Regions of The World Are Seeing a Significant Increase In Extreme Weather Events, Including Torrential Rainstorms, Heat Waves And Droughts

Suggested Tweet: Evidence suggests large areas are seeing signif rise in xtreme weather events incl. heavy precip, heatwaves, drought

Fact #9: Frost and Snowstorms Will Still Happen in a Warmer World

Suggested Tweet: Frost and snowstorms will still happen in a warmer world #climatematters

Fact #10: Global Warming is a Long-Term Trend; It Doesn’t Mean Next Year Will Always Be Warmer Than This Year

Suggested Tweet: Global warming is a long-term trend; it doesn’t mean next year will always be warmer than this year #climatematters

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