Climate Change online resources

Want to have a better understanding of the issues surrounding the changing climate?  I’ve assembled below resources that I believe represent the most objective resources available on the internet that have helped me get beneath all the hoopla, provide objective data sources (continually updated) that leads to a better understanding of climate dynamics, what is hyperbole and what is of real concern.  So without further ado, here are my topics and resources.  Feel free to add/comment at the bottom–Ken Lassman

Weather and climate basics
Weather is what happens in the real world. Climate science uses weather data to tease out subtle trends and set the odds for what is going to happen tomorrow, in ten or even a hundred years. This is accommplished by collecting and analyzing statistically valid and physically relevant weather data over time, we are able to detect patterns that allows us to delineate weather regions, how they interact with each other, and detect regional and even global trends and probabilities. better understand the weather over time, over large areas, and across the planet as a whole. Weather is what is actually happening in terms of temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, clouds and other atmospheric events. The climate describes the probability of that weather happening for that place, that region, or the whole planet. As the climate changes, the probabilities of extreme weather events increases in severity and frequency. Every current weather event adds to the data that is averaged for the past 5 or 15 or 30 years of previous weather events to calculate what the climate is. Here is a useful online resource:

Evidence for climate change
There are many, many reliable web resources that review this information in a comprehensive, up-to-date matter. Here are some of my favorites:

A convenient birdseye view of both the evidence for and consequent changes occurring (see below) at the EPA website:

Human and natural forcings of climate
The answer is very clear that humanity has changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and those changes are driving the current climate changes we are seeing, but 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.

And here’s the unequivocal “No” answer as to whether volcanoes emit more greenhouse gases than human activity does:

Human emissions of carbon

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

Here are 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; I usually look at the LOTI (land, ocean temperature index) graph, which shows the anomalies from the 1951-1980 averages. This is available here:

ocean heat content

polar ice mass
WAY more complicated than you might think, with some parts of antarctica shrinking, other parts expanding for a whole bunch of reasons. To get a flavor of how all these pieces fit together, check out: Toward the end, they provde cumulative data that indicates 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

sea level rise

ocean acidification

extreme weather events
The IPCC overview of the issue:
Famous James Hansen study that uses weighted dice analogy to increasing probability of extreme weather events:
A discussion of the nuances of Hanson’s paper as discussed by climatologists and denialists:

Here are some of the ecological consequences of climate changes
poleward migration of animal species
Here’s an example of the white pelican projections, among 314 bird species threatened by poleward shifting trends:
Here’s a good place to track new data on the poleward migration of fisheries:

1.5 degree Celsius: 2/3 of the planet’s coral reefs are spared; 2 degrees Celsius: most of the planet’s coral reefs are lost:

Impacts on different countries and efforts to adapt
Humans are part of the planet’s ecosystem and here’s how different countries are being affected:

Mitigation efforts to minimize climate change
Efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions

IPCC efforts/Paris

Clean Power Plan
Gina McCarthy EPA video introducing the CPP:
EPA main Clean Power Plan website:
Excellent overview of CPP by the Climate Energy Project:

Carbon tax/fee and dividend


Energy efficiency

Renewable energy production

Adaptation to climate change

Changing insurance industry and or

Efforts to protect biodiversity, ecosystems

Agricultural adaptation

Local impacts and efforts to adapt/mitigate
Two of the best all-around sites to keep in touch:
Free courses to go into more in-depth understanding of our climate, climate change, and the science behind it