Videos: The Science of Climate Change

2016 was the hottest year ever recorded, according to both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) This follows a trend that saw both 2014 and 2015 also break record yearly temperatures due to global warming.

Unfortunately, while the majority of countries on the planet are developing strategies to educate their populace on the consequences of climate change, the science of climate change is currently under assault in our society. Therefore, we decided to produce a series of videos that explain the basic science of climate change, as well as provide some online resources for instructors to present the factual basis of climate change in their classes.

Understanding Climate Change: Are High Temperatures the New Normal?

This short video explores how statistics, and especially bell-shaped curves and standard deviations, relates to the study of how climate change is measured.

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/2TD7kb19hVg

Understanding Climate Change: How Green House Gases Warm the Earth.

Carbon dioxide emissions are in the news almost everyday, but most people do not understand how even small changes in the concentration of this gas can affect the climate of the planet. This short video explores that relationship, and discusses the role of less-commonly discussed greenhouse gases.

 

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/FkwnVZf5vWw

Some Additional Facts

  • In a study conducted NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, climate data showed that the Earth’s global average temperature was 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 degrees Celsius) higher than the global average. This makes 2016 the hottest year since record keeping began in 1880.
  • Scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information later confirmed the conclusion in their own separate, independent analysis of the data. NOAA also said that 2016, in addition to being the third record-setting year in a row, was the 20th year on record where temperatures exceeded the global average and saw every state in the contiguous U.S as well as Alaska experiencing above-average temperatures.
  • The 2014 to 2016 back-to-back temperature records are no fluke. According to NASA, the 10 warmest years in 136 years of record keeping have all occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998, showing that are world is exponentially becoming warmer.
  • Climate experts say that climate change has already affected agriculture, human health, land and ocean ecosystems, and water supplies, and warn that increasing temperatures will create “severe and pervasive impacts that may be surprising or irreversible” in the future.
  • 97 percent of actively published scientists agree that it is “extremely likely” that climate change is due to human activity from Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions created by transportation, agriculture, and industry.
  • In 2009, 18 of America’s leading scientific organizations said in a joint letter that, “research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver,” of climate change and, “there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment.”
  • These conclusions have been reflected internationally in bodies such as the United Nations, which confirms that “There is a strong scientific consensus that the global climate is changing and that human activity contributes significantly to this trend.”
  • In December 2015, 194 countries, including the United States, signed the Paris Agreement and pledged to keep global temperature in the 21st century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, saying that climate change is a “common concern of humankind.”

Additional Resources

Images:

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