Climate Change is Happening
Our Earth is warming. Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.4°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5°F 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 weather.
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.
Climate Change Indicators in the United States
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 affecting society and ecosystems. Scientists are confident that many of the observed changes in the climate can be linked to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused largely by people burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, heat and cool buildings, and power vehicles.