Climate has always varied over time -- on average, some years, decades, centuries, or even millennia have been colder or warmer, wetter or drier through history. But scientists everywhere agree that the climate has been rapidly warming over the last 100 years, which has disrupted climate patterns around the planet. And there is broad consensus that these changes are being caused by human activity, mainly burning fossil fuels for energy.
Where is the evidence?
Thousands of scientists around the world have been studying our global climate and collecting data for many years so they could examine long term trends. The videos below provide visualizations of just a few of the data sets that offer evidence of our rapidly changing climate, and its root cause in human activity.
Global Warming from 1880 to 2021
This visualization illustrates Earth’s global average surface temperature from 1880-2021.
This visualization shows monthly global temperature anomalies (changes from an average) between the years 1880 and 2021. Whites and blues indicate cooler temperatures, while oranges and reds show warmer temperatures.
This visualization illustrates the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago until the end of the most recent data collection (2021).
Annual Arctic Ice Minimum
Satellites have provided a reliable tool for continuously monitoring changes in the Arctic ice since 1979. Every summer, the Arctic ice cap melts to what scientists call its "minimum" before colder weather begins to make ice cover increase. This visualization shows the expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 through 2022, with a graph overlay.