How do we know the Earth has warmed? How do scientists project future climate change? What choices face decision makers as the nation prepares for the impacts of climate change? Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices is a new booklet and series of short videos from the National Research Council that answer these and other common questions about climate change.
The booklet is based on several Research Council consensus reports and aims to help people understand what is known about climate change. First, it lays out the evidence of climate change being observed around the world and explains how scientists know that current warming trends are largely caused by human activities and not by the sun or Earth’s natural climate cycles.
It then looks at how scientists predict future changes and summarizes the impacts expected in this century and beyond. Projections show that climate change will have an effect on global temperatures and precipitation, will alter coastlines and ecosystems, and will also affect human activities such as agriculture and food production.
Finally, the booklet examines how science can help inform choices about managing and reducing the risks posed by climate change. It discusses what we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, how we can begin to prepare for future impacts of climate change, and why we should take action now even if there are still uncertainties about climate change and its risks.
The booklet is accompanied by a 24-minute video -- available in its entirety or in seven shorter segments -- which focuses on the scientific evidence related to climate change. The booklet and videos can be found at http://americasclimatechoices.org.