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Choices About the Climate

7) Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives.

By learning more about the climate, these students prepare themselves for the choices society will make about climate change in years to come.

Human Activities are Impacting the Climate

6) Human activities are impacting the climate system.

A satellite image of Florida, showing a plume of smoke from a large brush fire.A satellite image of Florida, showing a plume of smoke from a large brush fire.

The sixth principle is based on the overwhelm

Studying the Climate

5) Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling.

Output from a model of global atmospheric circulation.Output from a model of global atmospheric circulation.

The fifth principle provides the context for answering the

Climate Variability

4) Climate varies over space and time through both natural and human processes.

A satellite image shows the tracks in the atmosphere and ocean left by ships sailing across the Atlantic.A satellite image shows the tracks in the atmosph

Climate and Life

3) Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate.

A leaf with sunlight shining through it.A leaf with sunlight shining through it.

The third principle discusses where biology and climate meet.

Complex Climate Interactions

2) Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.

Complex interplay of seawater: Satellite image of the ocean near Tasmania, showing complex ocean currents, driven by the movement of the earth, solar radiation, air currents, and other factors.

Energy from the Sun

1) The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system.

Sunlight across the globe: A satellite image shows sunlight gleaming across the surface of the Earth.Sunlight across the globe: A satellite image shows sunlight gleaming across

Weather vs. Climate

Jet Stream: Clouds following the jet stream in a satellite image from NASA.Jet Stream: Clouds following the jet stream in a satellite image from NASA.

The difference between weather and climate is a matter of time.

Principles of Climate Literacy

Understanding how human activities are causing climate and other global changes requires a basic understanding of climate, how it differs from weather, and at least a little about how climate and related science is conducted.

Countering Climate Confusion

Teacher clarifying scientific principles

To convey key climate change concepts effectively, it is vital to be aware of fundamental misconceptions about climate, which are widespread.

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