BUILDING YOUR OWN CLIMATE LITERACY IS CRITICAL TO SUPPORTING STUDENTS. There are now countless “resources” online, but just clicking around on what appears interesting is a big time sink, and what you find may not be accurate, or worse, send you down endless rabbit holes. A more efficient way to learn is to do targeted reading—and to do this you’ll need trustworthy sources of new information and data.
This page is not to find information on a particular idea or event (these can be found in the updates to the book chapters pages), but rather the links here allow you to access a body of resources on themes like the basic science, regeneration strategies, community resilience, or poll numbers from large scale surveys. You can use these to broaden your knowledge or to shape curriculum.
Bear in mind however, you will never feel like you know enough or that your understanding is up to date.
Climate. Justice. Solutions. Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future. Our goal is to use the power of storytelling to illuminate the way toward a better world, inspire millions of people to walk that path with us, and show that the time for action is now. See also their Imagine 2200 climate fiction short story contest.
A Climate Primer. Need a basic primer to get acquainted with the science? One of the best out there is by Dr. Kerry Emanuel. It is more on the geo-physical aspects, less on the biology impacts, but still quite readable and written by a leading climate scientist.
Climate Science, Risk & Solutions. Also supported by Kerry Emanuel is one of the best sites I’ve seen for educating yourself in a self-paced way about climate change.
TIL Climate (Today I Learned: Climate) is an award-winning MIT podcast that breaks down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what we can do about it. Each quick episode gives you the what, why, and how on climate change — from real scientists and experts — to help us make informed decisions for our future. I know it sounds like I am being paid by MIT, but they have their act together on climate education.
Climate Central is an independent group of scientists and communicators who report the facts about our changing climate and how it affects people’s lives. The site communicates climate change science, effects, and solutions to the public and decision-makers. Check out their Resources page, and for specific resource examples look at Warming Stripes: Local to Global, or Urban Heat Islands.
Re-generation. This site is a response to the urgency of the climate crisis, a determined what-to-do manual for all levels of society, from individuals to national governments and everything and everyone in between. It describes a system of interlocking initiatives that can stem the climate crisis in one generation. Check out their Frameworks for Action.
Project Drawdown is on a mission to help the world stop climate change—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible. Want to do a self-paced study on all their regenerative strategies? Try the Climate Solutions 101 series . Their Solutions library helps students see the full range of “what works.” Drawdown’s Roadmap is also interesting and students could benefit from watching the videos—and a bonus, several graphics you can use in the classroom (bottom of page).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s mission is to better understand our natural world and help protect its precious resources. Its work extends beyond national borders to monitor global weather and climate, and work with partners around the world. This agency holds key leadership roles in shaping international ocean, fisheries, climate, space and weather policies. Nice set of resources on paleoclimatology.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.
World Health Organization (WHO). From emerging epidemics such as COVID-19 and Zika to the persistent threat of communicable diseases including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, the WHO bring together 194 countries and work on the frontlines in 150+ locations to confront the biggest health challenges of our time and measurably advance the well-being of the world’s people.
NASA Climate Change. Lots of outstanding science-based resources, specifically on climate change.NASA studies Earth, including its climate, our Sun, and our solar system and beyond. Check out A Degree of Concern: Why Global Temperatures Matter.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Climate Change. Understanding and addressing climate change is critical to EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA tracks and reports greenhouse gas emissions, leverages sound science, and works to reduce emissions to combat climate change.Take a look at the Climate Change Indicators page.
US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) provides a gateway to authoritative science, tools, and resources to help people and organizations across the country manage risks and respond to changing environmental conditions.
US Geological Survey (USGS). Resources at bottom of the linked page have nice info on paleoclimatology, biological impacts, wildfires, saving out coastal regions and more. The USGS brings an array of earth, water, biological, and mapping data and expertise to bear in support of decision-making on environmental, resource, and public safety issues.
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Lots of resources related to weather and the atmosphere.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). If you are looking for comprehensive reports that are viewed as some of the most credible in the world, these would be it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The reports are lengthy, but have sections which might connect directly to curriculum you might be thinking about.
Fourth National Climate Assessment. This U.S. report provides a detailed analysis of how climate change is affecting the physical earth system across the United States (which is helpful because it talks about regional differences, which might engage students more) and provides the foundational physical science upon which much of the assessment of impacts in this report is based.
Visual Capitalist. The name is not as bad as it sounds. By highlighting the bigger economic picture through data-driven visuals, they help cut through the clutter and simplify (sometimes oversimplify) a complex world.This site can help you understand a bit about the economic implications of climate change impacts and solutions.
Carbon Tracker. Does just what it says it does. Carbon Tracker is an independent financial think tank that carries out in-depth analysis on the impact of the energy transition on capital markets and the potential investment in high-cost, carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
The Living Planet Index. The Living Planet Index (LPI) is a measure of the state of the world’s biological diversity based on population trends of vertebrate species from terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats.
The National Phenology Network This organization brings together volunteer observers, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States.
Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops In this series of five short films, learn why natural warming loops have scientists alarmed—and why we have less time than we think. These videos can be used by students.
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Polls, lots of interesting survey research! They conduct scientific studies on public opinion and behavior; inform the decision-making of governments, media, companies, and advocates; educate the public about climate change; and help build public and political will for climate action. See their Projects page.
Britain Talks Climate is an evidence-based toolkit designed to support any organization that wants to engage the British public on climate change. It makes clear that there is currently no ‘culture war’ on climate change in Britain. Building narratives that resonate with a diverse range of values and everyday concerns is critical for the long-term goal of deepening public engagement – and keeping it there.
Carbon Brief is a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy.
They specialise in clear, data-driven articles and graphics to help improve the understanding of climate change, both in terms of the science and the policy response.
They publish explainers, interviews, analysis and fact-checks, as well as a range of popular email newsletters.