Recommended Web Sites for Teaching Climate Change

Jump down to research summaries | data | imagery | climate policy
educational strategies | professional development | personal impacts and solutions


IPCC Projections

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) - The CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library, provides a reviewed collection of resources coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss teaching about climate and energy science.

NASA's Global Climate Change Portal - This comprehensive website offers quick access to evidence of climate change, recent research, data, imagery and key climate indicators.

Earth: The Operators' Manual - This extensive website is the companion to Richard Alley's PBS TV program. The site covers the topics of climate change and sustainable energy, and explores the ways in which these two topics are linked. A large section of the site is for educators and contains video clips, teaching objectives, teacher tips, suggested activities, and educational standards.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (more info) home page

IPCC reports, including the most recent 4th assessment
Summary for Policymakers summary of the 4th assessment report with graphics
Integrating Sustainable Development and Climate Change in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

National Academy of Science (more info) - Climate change reports produced by committees of the nation's top scientists, engineers, and other experts who are convened to address key scientific and technical aspects of climate change and other topics.

US Global Change Research Program (more info) - This clearinghouse includes research results, climate research by other government agencies and scientific assessments of climate change impacts. The most recent report is the Global Climate Change Impacts in the US, which summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

Global Climate Change: NASA's Eyes on the Earth - This comprehensive web site includes a thorough presentation of the scientific issues of climate change using up-to-date data, information about NASA climate research missions, image galleries, an educator's portal and more.

US EPA Climate Change (more info) Overview of basic sciences and policy issues

US Geological Survey (more info) - Climate home page

Climate Change Collection (more info) - A suite of science education web-based resources covering natural climate dynamics as well as human impacts on the climate system

Real (more info) - A blog by climate scientists. Offers excellent, up-to-date summaries of many climate topics.

Skeptical Science - Up-to-date summaries of peer-reviewed science, presented in a user-friendly format and organized around frequent arguments made by climate change "skeptics."

The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication strives to advance public understanding and engagement with climate change science and solutions; and catalyze action by the general public and leaders of government, business, academia, and the media through improved knowledge and understanding. This group authors the Global Warming's Six Americas reports.

Climate Change Toolkit from the American Chemical Society is designed to provide scientists with a deeper understanding of climate science and to assist them in speaking about climate science with various audiences.

Global Change: Intersection of Nature and Culture - A forum with the purpose of exploring big questions about society and environmental change.

Summaries of Recent Research

Nature Reports: Climate Change (more info) - Current research, analysis and news about climate change, from the journal Nature

Science Daily: Global Warming News (more info) - Browse news, scientific articles, images and video on a variety of climate topics. The advertisements and layout of the site can be a bit distracting though.

Data Sets

NOAA Monthly/Seasonal Climate Composites - This web interface allows users to create customized plots of several climate variables with datasets available from Jan 1948 to the present. Data types include temperature, sea surface temperature, winds, pressure, humidity, precipitation, soil moisture and more.

NOAA The World Data Center for Paleoclimatology (more info) - Provides data about past climate and environment derived from a diverse range of proxies such as tree rings, ice cores, pollen, sediments and more. The data cover the globe, and while most span the last few millennia, some data sets extend back in time 100 million years.

NOAA A Paleo-Perspective on Abrupt Climate Change (more info) - Selected datasets from glacial times and the Holocene, with supplemental text and references. This site would be useful for students because it presents a complete story.

CDIAC Global Change Data and Information Products (more info) - CDIAC's data holdings include current carbon emissions by country, paleoclimate data, long-term climate trends, and more. The format is easy to browse.

Energy Information Administration Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data (more info) - International CO2 data from various fuel sources, plus projected CO2 emissions through 2030. Excel format.

Common Sense Climate Index (more info) - Simple climate statistics for many sites across the world. What's the climate record near your hometown?

Eight must-have charts summarize the evidence for a human fingerprint on recent climate change - These key figures are useful in illustrating the connection between human activities and recent climate change.

Muir Glacier Comparison

Repeat Photography of Glaciers (more info) - These paired photographs from the National Snow and Ice Data Center provide striking visual evidence of climate change. 

Vital Climate Graphics (more info) - Compiled from the second IPCC assessment report, these graphics include causes of climate change and projected impacts such as temperature changes and sea level rise. The figures are browseable by title.

Global Warming Art - Over 130 different images, graphs and photos describing various elements of climate change. Each image has a description, citation and information for reuse.

Climate Change Policy

US Climate Policy and Actions. Provides summaries and links to various domestic, international, and technology-based strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Educational Strategies

CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness - The portal provides a reviewed collection of resources that can help educators, students, and citizens increase their understanding of climate and energy science, coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss these issues to enable responsible decision making about our environment.

Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast - This is the companion website to the textbook by David Archer. This site offers plenty of useful materials for educators, including an online course that contains video lectures, labs and quizzes. The course is free and open to all but registration is required. Collections of interactive computer models and video lectures ( This site may be offline. ) are also available on this site, and these do not require registration to use.

The Psychology of Climate Change Communication - This guide is published by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University and describes methods for effectively communicating this complex and controversial topic. Strategies include translating scientific information into concrete experiences, addressing scientific uncertainties, tapping into social affiliations and encouraging group participation. The site also offers further readings about the communication, perception and psychology of climate change issues.

Teaching Environmental Issues and the Affective Domain - This page presents several clear-cut strategies that are drawn from the educational literature, followed by a reference list and examples of effective teaching materials.

Professional Development Opportunities

Climate and energy workshops from the On the Cutting Edge series.

The CLEAN project is hosting a series of online workshops for college faculty and monthly interactive webinars for high school and middle school teachers.

Professional development courses, workshops and resources from NASA and related programs.

Personal Impacts and Solutions

What You Can Do from the EPA, which includes many specific actions, detailed information, plus links to the EPA household emissions calculator.

Making Sense of Climate Change ( This site may be offline. ) , a down-to-earth description from the Sierra Club

What Can You Do? (more info) from the World Wildlife Fund

Why Bother? (more info) - essay by Michael Pollan

12 Steps to Kick the CO2 Habit ( This site may be offline. ) by the UN Environmental Programme

Carbon Footprint Calculators

Ecological Footprint Calculators (more info) This website contains interactive calculators for determining various environmental impacts. The site includes more than 15 different calculators to determine greenhouse gas emissions, ecological footprints, electricity pollution, air travel pollution, commuting costs, appliance costs, pollution prevention and more. 

Ecological Footprint Quiz ( This site may be offline. ) This Ecological Footprint Quiz asks a series questions about food, housing, transportation and waste production. The results of the quiz provide an estimate of how much productive land and water are required to support your lifestyle, and how your footprint compares to the average resident in your country. The website also contains answers to common questions about the quiz, tips for reducing your footprint, and detailed information on the calculations and methodology. A useful Excel spreadsheet that contains each calculation in the quiz can be found in the FAQ section.

Carbon Footprint (more info) This website has interactive tools to calculate your carbon footprint, which is a way to measure how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are produced by your activities. This site also contains specific recommendations for reducing and off-setting your carbon footprint, as well as links to news and information about global warming.

EPA household emissions calculator You can use this online calculator to get a rough estimate of your greenhouse gas emissions and explore the impact of taking various actions to reduce your emissions.