Climate Change online resources

by Ken Lassman where you can find updated versions of this page. Also, click on Ken’s “Climate change essay” download link at:

Weather and climate basics
Weather is what happens in the atmosphere every day: clouds, rain, droughts, hurricanes, fair weather—all of it. Climate is weather over time: an averaged abstraction created from measuring weather events over time for a given place or over the entire earth. By collecting and analyzing statistically valid and physically relevant weather data over time, we can tease out subtle trends and better understand what causes the weather. Measurable weather data include temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, cloud cover and chemical composition of the atmosphere. 30 year averages are the most common climate averages used; by comparing 3-5 year weather averages against the previous 100 year averages, changing probabilities or “anomalies” can be detected, such as the increasing probability of more frequent and severe extreme events. Here are a couple of useful video overviews that explain the dynamics of the earth’s climate: and

Evidence for climate change
There are many, many reliable web resources that summarize our changing climate. Some of my favorites:                               

Human and natural forcings of climate
The science is in: humanity has changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and those changes are driving the current climate changes we are seeing That doesn’t mean that the sun, volcanoes, our orbit around the sun, cosmic rays and other factors don’t play a part. Here are some of my favorite resources to explain both human and more than human contributions to the climate.                       

Human emissions of carbon
Annual updates, country by country, economic sector by sector:

CO2 and greenhouse gas amounts in the atmosphere Fascinating time lapse showing carbon composition over the past 800,000 years: 3D visualization of carbon emissions

The physical consequences for changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans: arctic sea ice levels: combined global land and sea surface temps: There are many graphs, datasets and animations available here and a cool spiral animation of rising temps: ocean heat content: incl. graphs of various depths /OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ and an excellent several part series by NASA why one degree of warming is significant: polar ice mass: WAY more complicated than you might think, with some parts of Antarctic ice shrinking, other parts expanding for a whole bunch of reasons. How these pieces fit together: Includes cumulative data for the extent of ice mass loss and how much they have contributed to the sea level rise–see the Merging Methods section for details. glacier ice mass: Integrates satellite monitoring and on-the-ground calibration: sea level rise: ocean acidification: extreme weather events: The IPCC comprehensive overview of the issue: Flooding events are predicted to double by the end of the century:…

Here are some of the ecological consequences of climate changes
Science, having accepted the reality of climate change, has been incredibly busy around the world documenting its affect everywhere. Skeptical Science provides weekly updates of this torrent of publications here: (updated weekly) You can also use the following seminal article to do your own Scholar Search on ecosystem changes: Parmesan, C. (2006). “Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change.”,24&sciodt=0,24&cites=8220195123175360683&scipsc=&q=&scisbd=1

Coral reefs: 1.5o Celsius: 2/3 of the planet’s coral reefs are spared, but 2o Celsius: most of the planet’s coral reefs are lost: and Possible changes in Central Great Plains area: and https://nca2018….

Tracking changes in the human environment: Heat waves kill more people than any other kind of extreme weather. Heat waves are predicted to become much more frequent and severe in coming years, which has prompted the quick creation of the Global Heat Health Information Network, which is pooling global efforts to help cope with this quickly growing crisis:

Global efforts to adapt and good sources for initiative updates
Humans are part of the planet’s ecosystem and here’s how different countries are being affected/planning for mitigating/adapting: and other news sources to keep current:

Mitigation efforts to minimize climate change
While the Trump Administration has suspended the Clean Power Plan, many initiatives to continue to reduce emissions to meet the Paris Agreement target in the US continues on many other fronts, including:

Motivation: how best to move ahead?

Here’s one of Greta Thunberg’s first excellent videos on the topic: A powerful video/poem written by two women from Greenland and Marshall Islands:

For Kansas, we have the privilege of having an excellent grassroots organization devoted to educating the public on a wide range of climate issues as they affect Kansans as well as the opportunities to make a difference: check out these folks and support them:

Carbon fee and dividend, energy efficiency and good news updates source

A grassroots, citizens’ based effort to implement a carbon fee, refunded to taxpayers as the most efficient, market-driven method to reduce emissions: . Energy efficiency is always the cheapest way to increase our energy supply: this site keeps track of state and federal policies, initiatives: Keep up to date on renewable energy:

Adaptation to climate change

Changing insurance industry:

Efforts to protect biodiversity, ecosystems, which is threatened worldwide by the changes in our climate:

Agricultural adaptation: some initiatives including USDA regional Climate Hubs

Local impacts and efforts to adapt/mitigate–In addition to the Climate and Energy Project (see link above), keep track of what’s happening locally by visiting these sites (for the Lawrence, KS area):                          

Free courses to go into more in-depth understanding of our climate, climate change, and the science behind it                                           last update: 10/21/2020