ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate Change FROM The United States. Environmental Protection Agency

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ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate Change FROM The United States. Environmental Protection Agency

David Dillard





Climate Change

FROM The United States. Environmental Protection Agency




Basic Information


Internet Archive Record of This Page Before January 20, 2017




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Climate Change: Basic Information

Climate change is happening

Humans are largely responsible for recent climate change

Climate change affects everyone
We can make a difference

How is the climate changing in the U.S.?

Observations across the United States and world provide multiple,
independent lines of evidence that climate change is happening now.

Learn More

Climate change is happening

Our Earth is warming. Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5F over
the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6F over the
next hundred years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet
can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and

The evidence is clear. Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by
changes in weather and climate. Many places have seen changes in rainfall,
resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more
frequent and severe heat waves.

The planet's oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes
oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea
levels are rising. As these and other changes become more pronounced in
the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and
our environment.

What are climate change and global warming?

View of Earth from space

Global warming refers to the recent and ongoing rise in global average
temperature near Earth's surface. It is caused mostly by increasing
concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Global warming is
causing climate patterns to change. However, global warming itself
represents only one aspect of climate change.

Climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate
lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change
includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns,
among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.
Learn more about the signs of climate change in the United States.

Humans are largely responsible for recent climate change
Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The
majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce
energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some
agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.

Emissions at sunsetGreenhouse gases act like a blanket around Earth,
trapping energy in the atmosphere and causing it to warm. This phenomenon
is called the greenhouse effect and is natural and necessary to support
life on Earth. However, the buildup of greenhouse gases can change Earth's
climate and result in dangerous effects to human health and welfare and to

The choices we make today will affect the amount of greenhouse gases we
put in the atmosphere in the near future and for years to come.
Learn more about the causes of climate change.

Learn More

Climate Change Impacts

Climate Change Facts: Answers to Common Questions

Climate change affects everyone

Our lives are connected to the climate. Human societies have adapted to
the relatively stable climate we have enjoyed since the last ice age which
ended several thousand years ago. A warming climate will bring changes
that can affect our water supplies, agriculture, power and transportation
systems, the natural environment, and even our own health and safety.

Take a Quiz

How much you know about the health impacts of climate change? Take our new
online quiz and share your score with friends!
Climate Change and Human Health quiz

Some changes to the climate are unavoidable. Carbon dioxide can stay in
the atmosphere for nearly a century, so Earth will continue to warm in the
coming decades. The warmer it gets, the greater the risk for more severe
changes to the climate and Earth's system. Although it's difficult to
predict the exact impacts of climate change, what's clear is that the
climate we are accustomed to is no longer a reliable guide for what to
expect in the future.

We can reduce the risks we will face from climate change. By making
choices that reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and preparing for the
changes that are already underway, we can reduce risks from climate
change. Our decisions today will shape the world our children and
grandchildren will live in.

Learn more about the impacts of climate change and adapting to change.

Hands on a globe

We can make a difference

You can take action. You can take steps at home, on the road, and in your
office to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the risks associated with
climate change. Many of these steps can save you money; some, such as
walking or biking to work, can even improve your health! You can also get
involved on a local or state level to support energy efficiency, clean
energy programs, or other climate programs.Link to EPAs Household Carbon

Footprint Calculator

Calculate your carbon footprint and find ways to reduce your emissions
through simple everyday actions.

EPA and other federal agencies are taking action. EPA is working to
protect the health and welfare of Americans through common sense measures
to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and to help communities prepare for
climate change.




Causes of Climate Change

On This Page:

Earths temperature is a balancing act

The greenhouse effect causes the atmosphere to retain heat

Changes in the suns energy affect how much energy reaches Earths system

Changes in reflectivity affect how much energy enters Earths system

Earth's temperature is a balancing act

Graph displaying that models accounting solely for natural factors
understate current climate trends by ~1 degree F, compared to models that
include human factors, which accurately predict observed temperatures.
Models that account only for the effects of natural processes are not able
to explain the warming observed over the past century. Models that also
account for the greenhouse gases emitted by humans are able to explain
this warming.

Click the image to view a larger version.

Earth's temperature depends on the balance between energy entering and
leaving the planets system. When incoming energy from the sun is absorbed
by the Earth system, Earth warms. When the suns energy is reflected back
into space, Earth avoids warming. When absorbed energy is released back
into space, Earth cools. Many factors, both natural and human, can cause
changes in Earths energy balance, including:

Variations in the sun's energy reaching Earth

Changes in the reflectivity of Earths atmosphere and surface
Changes in the greenhouse effect, which affects the amount of heat
retained by Earths atmosphere

These factors have caused Earths climate to change many times.
Scientists have pieced together a record of Earths climate, dating back
hundreds of thousands of years (and, in some cases, millions or hundreds
of millions of years), by analyzing a number of indirect measures of
climate such as ice cores, tree rings, glacier lengths, pollen remains,
and ocean sediments, and by studying changes in Earths orbit around the

This record shows that the climate system varies naturally over a wide
range of time scales. In general, climate changes prior to the Industrial
Revolution in the 1700s can be explained by natural causes, such as
changes in solar energy, volcanic eruptions, and natural changes in
greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.[2]

Recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes
alone. Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed
warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, it is
extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of
that warming.[2]

Radiative Forcing

Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence of a particular factor
(e.g. GHGs, aerosols, or land use changes) on the net change in Earths
energy balance. On average, a positive radiative forcing tends to warm the
surface of the planet, while a negative forcing tends to cool the surface.
GHGs have a positive forcing because they absorb energy radiating from
Earths surface, rather than allowing it to be directly transmitted into
space. This warms the atmosphere like a blanket. Aerosols, or small
particles, can have a positive or negative radiative forcing, depending on
how they absorb and emit heat or reflect light. For example, black carbon
aerosols have a positive forcing since they absorb sunlight. Sulfate
aerosols have a negative forcing since they reflect sunlight back into

NOAAs Annual GHG Index, which tracks changes in radiative forcing from
GHGs over time, shows that such forcing from human-added GHGs has
increased 27.5 percent between 1990 and 2009. Increases in CO2 in the
atmosphere are responsible for 80% of the increase. The contribution to
radiative forcing by CH4 and CFCs has been nearly constant or declining,
respectively, in recent years.

The greenhouse effect causes the atmosphere to retain heat
When sunlight reaches Earths surface, it can either be reflected back into
space or absorbed by Earth. Once absorbed, the planet releases some of the
energy back into the atmosphere as heat (also called infrared radiation).
Greenhouse gases like water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane
(CH4) absorb energy, slowing or preventing the loss of heat to space. In
this way, GHGs act like a blanket, making Earth warmer than it would
otherwise be. This process is commonly known as the greenhouse effect.

The role of the greenhouse effect in the past

Over the last several hundred thousand years, CO2 levels varied in tandem
with the glacial cycles. During warm "interglacial" periods, CO2 levels
were higher. During cool "glacial" periods, CO2 levels were lower.[2] The
heating or cooling of Earths surface and oceans can cause changes in the
natural sources and sinks of these gases, and thus change greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere.[2] These changing concentrations are
thought to have acted as a positive feedback, amplifying the temperature
changes caused by long-term shifts in Earths orbit.[2]

Graph showing correlating increases and decreases in CO2 and temperature
over 800,000 years.

Estimates of the Earths changing CO2 concentration (top) and Antarctic
temperature (bottom), based on analysis of ice core data extending back
800,000 years. Until the past century, natural factors caused atmospheric
CO2 concentrations to vary within a range of about 180 to 300 parts per
million by volume (ppmv). Warmer periods coincide with periods of
relatively high CO2 concentrations. Note: The past centurys temperature
changes and rapid CO2 rise (to 400 ppmv in 2015) are not shown here.

Increases over the past half century are shown in the Recent Role section.

Click the image to view a larger version.

Source: Based on data appearing in NRC (2010).

Feedbacks Can Amplify or Reduce Changes

Climate feedbacks amplify or reduce direct warming and cooling effects.
They do not change the planets temperature directly. Feedbacks that
amplify changes are called positive feedbacks. Feedbacks that counteract
changes are called negative feedbacks. Feedbacks are associated with
changes in surface reflectivity, clouds, water vapor, and the carbon

Water vapor appears to cause the most important positive feedback. As
Earth warms, the rate of evaporation and the ability of air to hold water
vapor both rise, increasing the amount of water vapor in the air. Because
water vapor is a greenhouse gas, this leads to further warming.
The melting of Arctic sea ice is another example of a positive climate
feedback. As temperatures rise, sea ice retreats. The loss of ice exposes
the underlying sea surface, which is darker and absorbs more sunlight than
ice, increasing the total amount of warming.

Some types of clouds cause a negative feedback. Warming temperatures can
increase the amount or reflectivity of these clouds, reflecting more
sunlight back into space, cooling the surface of the planet. Other types
of clouds, however, contribute a positive feedback.

There are also several positive feedbacks that increase GHG
concentrations. For example, as temperatures warm:
Natural processes that are affected by warming, such as permafrost
thawing, tend to release more CO2.

The ocean releases CO2 into the atmosphere and absorbs atmospheric CO2 at
a slower rate.

Several types of land surfaces may release more methane (CH4).
These changes lead to higher concentrations of atmospheric GHGs and
contribute to increased warming.

Graph showing increase in 3 GHGs (CO2, CH4, & N2O). From 0 to ~1800,
concentrations of each were in the following ranges: CO2: 280ppm, CH4:
720ppb, N2O: 270ppb. A sharp increase begins in 1900. By 2000, CO2
approaches 400ppm, CH4 2000ppb, and N2O 320ppb.

This graph shows the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in
the atmosphere over the last 2,000 years. Increases in concentrations of
these gases since 1750 are due to human activities in the industrial era.
Concentration units are parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion
(ppb), indicating the number of molecules of the greenhouse gas per
million or billion molecules of air.

Click the image to view a larger version.

Source: U.S. National Climate Assessment (2014).

The recent role of the greenhouse effect

Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, human activities have
contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other
heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. These greenhouse gas emissions have
increased the greenhouse effect and caused Earths surface temperature to
rise. The primary human activity affecting the amount and rate of climate
change is greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
The main greenhouse gases

The most important GHGs directly emitted by humans include carbon dioxide
(CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and several others. The sources
and recent trends of these gases are detailed below.
Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to
recent climate change. CO2 is absorbed and emitted naturally as part of
the carbon cycle, through plant and animal respiration, volcanic
eruptions, and ocean-atmosphere exchange. Human activities, such as the
burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, release large amounts of
CO2, causing concentrations in the atmosphere to rise.

Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased by more than 40% since
pre-industrial times, from approximately 280 parts per million by volume
(ppmv) in the 18th century to over 400 ppmv in 2015. The monthly average
concentration at Mauna Loa now exceeds 400 ppmv for the first time in
human history. The current CO2 level is higher than it has been in at
least 800,000 years.[2]

Some volcanic eruptions released large quantities of CO2 in the distant
past. However, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that human
activities now emit more than 135 times as much CO2 as volcanoes each

Human activities currently release over 30 billion tons of CO2 into the
atmosphere every year.[2] The resultant build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere
is like a tub filling with water, where more water flows from the faucet
than the drain can take away.

Graph showing increasing Atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory from the
1950's to 2010.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has risen from pre-industrial
levels of 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) to over 401 ppmv in 2016.
Since 1959 alone (shown here), concentrations have risen by more than 85
ppmv. The yearly rise and fall in the chart reflects the growth and decay
or northern hemisphere vegetation.

Click the image to view a larger version.

Source: NOAA

Image showing a bathtub. Sources of carbon are the faucet, while sinks of
carbon are the drain.

If the amount of water flowing into a bathrub is greater than the amount
of water leaving through the drain, the water level will rise. CO2
emissions are like the flow of water into the world's carbon bathtub.
"Sources" of CO2 emissions such as fossil fuel burning, cement
manufacture, and land use are like the bathtub's faucet. "Sinks" of CO2 in
the ocean and on land (such as plants) that take up CO2 are like the
drain. Today, human activities have turned up the flow from the CO2
"faucet," which is much larger than the "drain" can cope with, and the
level of CO2 in the atmosphere (like the level of water in a bathtub) is

For more information on the human and natural sources and sinks of CO2
emissions, and actions that can reduce emissions, see the Carbon Dioxide
page in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions website.


Methane is produced through both natural and human activities. For
example, natural wetlands, agricultural activities, and fossil fuel
extraction and transport all emit CH4.

Methane is more abundant in Earths atmosphere now than at any time in at
least the past 800,000 years.[2] Due to human activities, CH4
concentrations increased sharply during most of the 20th century and are
now more than two-and-a-half times pre-industrial levels. In recent
decades, the rate of increase has slowed considerably.[2]
For more information on CH4 emissions and sources, and actions that can
reduce emissions, see EPAs Methane page in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions
website. For information on how methane is impacting the Arctic, see the
EPA report Methane and Black Carbon Impacts on the Arctic.
Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is produced through natural and human activities, mainly
through agricultural activities and natural biological processes. Fuel
burning and some other processes also create N2O. Concentrations of N2O
have risen approximately 20% since the start of the Industrial Revolution,
with a relatively rapid increase toward the end of the 20th century.[2]
Overall, N2O concentrations have increased more rapidly during the past
century than at any time in the past 22,000 years.[2] For more information
on N2O emissions and sources, and actions that can reduce emissions, see
EPAs Nitrous Oxide page in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions website.
Other greenhouse gases

Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas and also the most
important in terms of its contribution to the natural greenhouse effect,
despite having a short atmospheric lifetime. Some human activities can
influence local water vapor levels. However, on a global scale, the
concentration of water vapor is controlled by temperature, which
influences overall rates of evaporation and precipitation.[2] Therefore,
the global concentration of water vapor is not substantially affected by
direct human emissions.

Tropospheric ozone (O3), which also has a short atmospheric lifetime, is a
potent greenhouse gas. Chemical reactions create ozone from emissions of
nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds from automobiles, power
plants, and other industrial and commercial sources in the presence of
sunlight. In addition to trapping heat, ground-level ozone is a pollutant
that can cause respiratory health problems and damage crops and

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs),
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur
hexafluoride (SF6), together called F-gases, are often used in coolants,
foaming agents, fire extinguishers, solvents, pesticides, and aerosol
propellants. Unlike water vapor and ozone, these F-gases have a long
atmospheric lifetime, and some of these emissions will affect the climate
for many decades or centuries.

For more information on greenhouse gas emissions, see the Greenhouse Gas
Emissions website, including an expanded discussion of global warming
potentials and how they are used to measure the relative strengths of
greenhouse gases. To learn more about actions that can reduce these
emissions, see What You Can Do.
Other climate forcers

Particles and aerosols in the atmosphere can also affect climate. Human
activities such as burning fossil fuels and biomass contribute to
emissions of these substances, although some aerosols also come from
natural sources such as volcanoes and marine plankton.

Black carbon (BC) is a solid particle or aerosol, not a gas, but it also
contributes to warming of the atmosphere. Unlike GHGs, BC can directly
absorb incoming and reflected sunlight in addition to absorbing infrared
radiation. BC can also be deposited on snow and ice, darkening the surface
and thereby increasing the snow's absorption of sunlight and accelerating
melt. For information on how BC is impacting the Arctic, see EPA
assessment Methane and Black Carbon Impacts on the Arctic.
Sulfates, organic carbon, and other aerosols can cause cooling by
reflecting sunlight.

Warming and cooling aerosols can interact with clouds, changing a number
of cloud attributes such as their formation, dissipation, reflectivity,
and precipitation rates. Clouds can contribute both to cooling, by
reflecting sunlight, and warming, by trapping outgoing heat.

For more information on greenhouse gas emissions, see the Greenhouse Gas
Emissions website. To learn more about actions that can reduce these
emissions, see What EPA is Doing and What You Can Do.

Changes in the suns energy affect how much energy reaches Earths system
Graph comparing solar irradiance and difference in global surface
temperature. Solar irradiance has been regularly cycling, while global
surface temperatures have been steadily increasing.
The suns energy received at the top of Earths atmosphere has been measured
by satellites since 1978. It has followed its natural 11-year cycle of
small ups and downs, but with no net increase (bottom). Over the same
period, global temperature has risen markedly (top).

Click the image to view a larger version.
Source: USGCRP (2009).

Climate is influenced by natural changes that affect how much solar energy
reaches Earth. These changes include changes within the sun and changes in
Earths orbit.

Changes occurring in the sun itself can affect the intensity of the
sunlight that reaches Earths surface. The intensity of the sunlight can
cause either warming (during periods of stronger solar intensity) or
cooling (during periods of weaker solar intensity). The sun follows a
natural 11-year cycle of small ups and downs in intensity, but the effect
on Earths climate is small.[1]

Changes in the shape of Earths orbit as well as the tilt and position of
Earths axis can also affect the amount of sunlight reaching Earths

The role of the suns energy in the past

Changes in the suns intensity have influenced Earths climate in the past.
For example, the so-called Little Ice Age between the 17th and 19th
centuries may have been partially caused by a low solar activity phase
from 1645 to 1715, which coincided with cooler temperatures. The Little
Ice Age refers to a slight cooling of North America, Europe, and probably
other areas around the globe.[2]

Changes in Earths orbit have had a big impact on climate over tens to
hundreds of thousands of years. In fact, the amount of summer sunshine on
the Northern Hemisphere, which is affected by changes in the planets
orbit, appears to drive the advance and retreat of ice sheets. These
changes appear to be the primary cause of past cycles of ice ages, in
which Earth has experienced long periods of cold temperatures (ice ages),
as well as shorter interglacial periods (periods between ice ages) of
relatively warmer temperatures.[1][2]

Rates of Climate Change Have Varied Over Time

Image of a glacier calving. Click to learn about how rates of climate
change have varied over time.

Click to learn about how rates of climate change have varied over time.

The recent role of the suns energy

Changes in solar energy continue to affect climate. However, over the last
11-year solar cycle, solar output has been lower than it has been since
the mid-20th century, and therefore does not explain the recent warming of
the earth.[2] Similarly, changes in the shape of Earths orbit as well as
the tilt and position of Earths axis affect temperature on very long
timescales (tens to hundreds of thousands of years), and therefore cannot
explain the recent warming.

Changes in reflectivity affect how much energy enters Earths system
When sunlight reaches Earth, it can be reflected or absorbed. The amount
that is reflected or absorbed depends on Earths surface and atmosphere.
Light-colored objects and surfaces, like snow and clouds, tend to reflect
most sunlight, while darker objects and surfaces, like the ocean, forests,
or soil, tend to absorb more sunlight.

The term albedo refers to the amount of solar radiation reflected from an
object or surface, often expressed as a percentage. Earth as a whole has
an albedo of about 30%, meaning that 70% of the sunlight that reaches the
planet is absorbed.[3] Absorbed sunlight warms Earths land, water, and

Reflectivity is also affected by aerosols. Aerosols are small particles or
liquid droplets in the atmosphere that can absorb or reflect sunlight.
Unlike greenhouse gases, the climate effects of aerosols vary depending on
what they are made of and where they are emitted. Those aerosols that
reflect sunlight, such as particles from volcanic eruptions or sulfur
emissions from burning coal, have a cooling effect. Those that absorb
sunlight, such as black carbon (a part of soot), have a warming effect.

The role of reflectivity in the past
Natural changes in reflectivity, like the melting of sea ice, have
contributed to climate change in the past, often acting as feedbacks to
other processes.

Volcanoes have played a noticeable role in climate. Volcanic particles
that reach the upper atmosphere can reflect enough sunlight back to space
to cool the surface of the planet by a few tenths of a degree for several
years.[2] These particles are an example of cooling aerosols. Volcanic
particles from a single eruption do not produce long-term change because
they remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter time than GHGs.[2]

The recent role of reflectivity

Human changes in land use and land cover have changed Earths reflectivity.
Processes such as deforestation, reforestation, desertification, and
urbanization often contribute to changes in climate in the places they
occur. These effects may be significant regionally, but are smaller when
averaged over the entire globe.

In addition, human activities have generally increased the number of
aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Overall, human-generated aerosols
have a net cooling effect offsetting about one-third of the total warming
effect associated with human greenhouse gas emissions. Reductions in
overall aerosol emissions can therefore lead to more warming. However,
targeted reductions in black carbon emissions can reduce warming.[1]


[1] USGCRP (2014). Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third
National Climate Assessment. [Melillo, Jerry M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond,
and Gary W. Yohe, Eds.] U.S. Global Change Research Program.

[2] IPCC (2013). Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K.
Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex
and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United
Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

[3] NRC (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Changes . National
Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.




Climate Change Indicators

Climate Change Indicators in the United States
Contact Us
New Indicators Report Released
EPA has released the 2016 edition of Climate Change Indicators, which
includes seven new indicators and a feature on climate and health.
Wildfires at All-Time High
U.S. wildfires burned more than 10 million acres in 2015, the largest
annual amount of land burned since 1983.
Learn more
Arctic Sea Ice Remains at Record Lows
The March 2016 maximum extent of Arctic sea ice remained virtually
unchanged from last years record low.
Learn more
Ocean Life Shifting Northward
The populations of some marine species are shifting to more northerly
waters since the 1960s.
Learn more
About the Report
Download PDF of full report
Technical documentation
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Order print copies or send inquiries: [hidden email]
Subscribe to indicator updates
Climate Change Indicators in the United States
Key Findings
Launch Link

The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and
rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events  like
heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures  are already happening. Many
of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human
EPA partners with more than 40 data contributors from various government
agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile a key
set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change. The
indicators are published in EPA's report, Climate Change Indicators in the
United States, available on this website and in print. Explore the
indicators below.
Explore Climate Change Indicators
Icon for Greenhouse Gases Climate Change Indicators
Greenhouse Gases Summary
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases
Climate Forcing
Icon for Weather and Climate Climate Change Indicators
Weather and Climate Summary
U.S. and Global Temperature
High and Low Temperatures
U.S. and Global Precipitation
Heavy Precipitation
Tropical Cyclone Activity
River Flooding*
Icon for Oceans Climate Change Indicators
Oceans Summary
Ocean Heat
Sea Surface Temperature
Sea Level
Coastal Flooding*
Ocean Acidity
Climate Connections
Climate Change and Human Health
Temperature and Drought in the Southwest
Land Loss Along the Atlantic Coast
Ice Breakup in Two Alaskan Rivers
Cherry Blossom Bloom Dates in Washington, D.C.
Trends in Stream Temperature in the Snake River*
* = new in 2016
Icon for Snow and Ice Climate Change Indicators
Snow and Ice Summary
Arctic Sea Ice
Antarctic Sea Ice*
Lake Ice
Snow Cover
Icon for Health and Society Climate Change Indicators
Health and Society Summary
Heat-Related Deaths
Heat-Related Illnesses*
Heating and Cooling Degree Days
Lyme Disease
West Nile Virus*
Length of Growing Season
Ragweed Pollen Season
Icon for Ecosystems Climate Change Indicators
Ecosystems Summary
Stream Temperature*
Great Lakes Water Levels and Temperatures
Bird Wintering Ranges
Marine Species Distribution*
Leaf and Bloom Dates

David Dillard
Temple University
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