Michigan State University

Energy and the Environment


"Global warming" means the same thing as "climate change" or "global climate change." Simply put, it describes the increase in the average ground and atmospheric temperatures across the planet. Temperatures have risen between 1.08 and 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century. The consensus among scientists is that humans are to blame, largely due to vehicles, power plants, factories and other energy users burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and to land being cleared for development. Such actions send tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which causes the warming. Source: DailyGreen's Ecopedia.

A collection of web sites related to climate change or global warming. If you have additional suggestions, send them to Eric Tans, tans@msu.edu

Looking for articles? Try the Find Articles tab.

Looking for books?  Try Climate Change as a keyword search.  Or click on the Find Books tab at the top for more information. 

Selected Web Sites, A-L

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Global Climate-Change Resources

Arctic Change : Providing information on the present state of Arctic ecosystems and climate in historical context. Data and information from reputable scientific sources are presented with easy to read and understand narratives. The objective is to inform dialog, raise issue awareness, and support decision making.

Arctic Climate Impact Science -- An Update Since ACIA : Climate change is having a greater and faster impact on the Arctic than previously thought, according to a new study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The new report represents the most wide-ranging reviews of arctic climate impact science since the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) was published in 2005. The new study found that change was occurring in all arctic systems, impacting on the atmosphere and oceans, sea ice and ice sheets, snow and permafrost, as well as species and populations, food webs, ecosystems and human societies. Melting of arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet was found to be severely accelerated, now even prompting the expert scientists to discuss whether both may be close to their "tipping point' (the point where, because of climate change, natural systems may experience sudden, rapid and possibly irreversible change). 

Climate Ark: Climate Change and Global Warming Portal.

Climate Central : An independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the American public.

Climate Change: A Guide to the Information and Disinformation : The Society for Environmental Journalists has created this special reporters' online resource . It is drawn from the Rolodexes, notebooks, and background files of some of the top reporters in the business.

Climate Change News : Published weekly, this news update recounts the top climate change-related stories of the week and includes a list of upcoming events. Environmental and Energy Study Institute. 

Climate Change Overview : E&E explores the science, politics and policy of climate change in this ongoing special report. The report is broken into three distinct sections:
(1) Domestic Debate : Follow the action on Capitol Hill and from the White House. This section also includes regular state and regional updates, as well as the latest legal developments.
(2) Global Dilemma : Track the international talks on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Will the United Nations pursue strict emission targets and deadlines, or will the focus turn to technological innovation?
(3) Science & Technology : Stay on top of technology innovations out of the private sector, as well as the latest scientific reports on everything from sea ice to hurricanes. 

Climate Change Special Report : A compilation of resources from the NewScientist. 

Climate Counts Scorecard (2008) : You can use the Climate Counts Company Scorecard to see how serious companies are about stopping climate change - and how they compare to their sector competitors. The annually updated scorecard reflects the self-reported efforts of companies to address climate change - or avoid it altogether. The higher the score, the greater the company’s commitment to fighting global warming.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week : Climate Change Deniers depend on 10- second sound bites that serve to muddy and confuse the complex issues of climate change. Crock of the Week takes these talking points, one by one, and breaks them down for the intelligent layman who lacks the time to wade thru the thicket of information.  Peter Sinclair, Midland Michigan.

Climate Desk : The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.

Climate Hot Map : Interactive map allows one to track global warming effects around the worldThe Climate Hot Map uses only peer-reviewed data from governmental agencies and scientific studies and takes into account “multiple stresses” of climate change and human activities.  Click on the map’s broad categories — people, freshwater, oceans, ecosystems and temperature — to filter out locations.

Climate Models and Global Climate Change : Although scientists now accept global warming as incontrovertible, humans continue to alter the composition of the atmosphere, primarily through the burning of fossil fuels. Climate models, which can provide an early warning of climate change, increasingly are called upon to help determine what environmental changes the climate may bring in the coming decades and centuries. While several types of numerical models help atmospheric scientists simulate earth systems, modern climate models, or General Circulation Models (GCMs), are a unique subset. They are designed to maximize capability in simulating general atmospheric circulation as well as interannual oscillations such as El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and forecasting climatic trends decades or even centuries in advance. Christopher Readinger. Proquest Discovery Guide. December 2007. 

ClimateWire : E&E's latest publication, ClimateWire, is designed to bring readers unmatched coverage of the debate over climate policy and its effects on business, the environment and society. Climate issues have become so pervasive, and our clients' interest in climate change has become so intense, that developing ClimateWire became an inevitable means to expand and enhance E&E's already top-tier coverage of this critical issue area. This web links provides access to the latest three or four days of articles. 

Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on Our Communities and Ecosystems (2003) : This is a comprehensive report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Ecological Society of America, and written by leading university and government scientists in the Great Lakes region. This report examines the potential impacts of climate change upon the various ecosystems of this diverse and rich region. A Michigan Summary is also available.

DailyClimate.org : A daily compilation of news about climate change from mainstream media sources around the world. It is published every morning (US east coast time) by Environmental Health Sciences, based in Charlottesville, VA. 

Earth 911 Climate Change Page : Climate change is a “hot” topic in the news—from its role in devastating hurricanes to record temperatures. Believe it or not, the products we buy and use effect this issue. Every process in the lifecycle of products consumes energy, which can lead to climate change. Any steps that can be taken to reduce this will benefit the environment in the long run.

EcoEquity : This somewhat radical source of news and information may be of interest to you if your research centers on the notion of global justice and/or environmental rights, especially in relation to climate change. 

Encyclopedia of Earth, Climate Change

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Change

Excite Climate Change News 

Facing the Challenges of Climate Change : A Guide for Citizen Thought and Action 

Global Climate Debate : Access limited to National Council for Society and the Environment university affiliates, including MSU.

Global Warming & Climate Change : Library of Congress Science Tracer Bullet 06-6 

Global Warming and the Kyoto Protocol : The topic of global warming inspires heated debates among world leaders, industry representatives, and environmentalists. While there is a strong consensus in the scientific community that the greenhouse effect is a real phenomenon, and that humans are adding to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, much remains unknown about the long-term consequences of anthropogenic activity on the climate.  Proquest Discovery Guide, July 2001.

Great Lakes Climate : The climate of the Great Lakes Region is changing. Average temperatures are rising, and in turn affecting the timing of seasons and level and intensity of precipitation. These changes pose significant challenges, opportunities, and threats to the ecological and economic well-being of the Great Lakes Basin. In the face of such changes, stakeholders who make climate-sensitive decisions need a wide range of relevant information. To provide such information, we have available:

  • Reports - 41 documents written by and for stakeholders regarding climate change impacts
  • Background - Learn more about Great Lakes climate variability and change, including historical trends and future projections

In Dead Water : Merging of Climate Change With Pollution, Over-Harvest, and Infestations in the World's Fishing Grounds : A rapid response report that maps the multiple and combined impacts of pollution; alien infestations; over-exploitation and climate change on the seas and oceans.
The new rapid response report entitled In Dead Water has for the first time mapped the multiple and combined impacts of pollution; alien infestations; over-exploitation and climate change on the seas and oceans. The worst concentration of cumulative impacts of climate change with existing pressures of over-harvest, bottom trawling, invasive species , coastal development and pollution appear to be concentrated in 10-15 per cent of the oceans concurrent with today’s most important fishing grounds says the report. 

Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) : In 2007, the IPCC along with Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". The IPCC, operated by the United Nations, assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. The site provides access to the IPCC’s influential climate change reports, which are based on reviews of peer-reviewed science, as well as guidelines for conducting national greenhouse gas inventories.

IPCC Special Reports on Climate Change : This web-site contains the full text and graphics from five special reports by the IPCC's Working Groups. It was first released for the 6th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in The Hague, The Netherlands, 13-24 November 2000.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - News

Kick the Habit: A UN Guide to Climate Neutrality : A new UNEP publication, written and produced by UNEP/GRID-Arendal for World Environment Day 2008, shows how various levels of society can work towards climate neutrality. Written and reviewed by experts from many disciplines and various countries, the book is aimed at a broad audience, with solutions for individuals, small and large businesses, NGOs, international organizations, cities and countries.
Climate change is the deining issue of our era. Hardly a day passes without a newspaper, a broadcast or a politician making at least one reference to the threats it poses and the urgency of taking action, immediately to limit the effects and, in the longer term, to adapt to the changes that are sure to come.
For climate change is upon us, and the problem is here to stay. But it is still in our power – as individuals, businesses, cities and governments – to inluence just how serious the problem will become. We have the choice how to act, but the change we need to make ourselves. We can make a difference by supporting the transition to a climate neutral world. This concept – climate neutrality – is the subject of this book.True, there is a huge gulf between where we are now and the climate-neutral future that we need if we are to achieve sustainable development. But the message of this book is that the gulf is not uncrossable and that there is also a lot to gain. It will take patience, persistence and determination, but it can be done.

Kyoto Protocol

Selected Web Sites, N-Z


National Climate Assessment : a product of the U.S. Global Change Research Project.  Julie Winkler led the creation of Midwest White Papers for GLISA as background.  They are online at glisa.msu.edu

National Geographic's Causes of Global Warming : Scientists have spent decades figuring out what is causing global warming. They've looked at the natural cycles and events that are known to influence climate. But the amount and pattern of warming that's been measured can't be explained by these factors alone. The only way to explain the pattern is to include the effect of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by humans. 

National Geographic's Effects of Global Warming : The signs are everywhere. The planet is warming, from North Pole to South Pole, and everywhere in between. Globally, the mercury is already up more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius), and even more in sensitive polar regions. 

National Geographic's Global Warming Solutions : What Can We Do? The evidence that humans are causing global warming is strong, but the question of what to do about it remains controversial. Economics, sociology, and politics are all important factors in planning for the future.

National Geographic's What is Global Warming : The Planet Is Heating Up—and Fast. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying, and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace. It's becoming clear that humans have caused most of the past century's warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than in the last 650,000 years.

National Resources Defense Council, Global Warming Issues Page : Global warming is already affecting the world we know, endangering polar bears, shortening ski seasons and creating more intense storms. This web page includes sections on Global Warming Basics, Consequences of Global Warming, Global Warming Solutions, and Legislation to Control Global Warming Pollution. 

NOAA Climate Services Climate Portal : With the rapid rise in the development of Web technologies and climate services across NOAA, there has been an increasing need for greater collaboration regarding NOAA's online climate services. The drivers include the need to enhance NOAA's Web presence in response to customer requirements, emerging needs for improved decision-making capabilities across all sectors of society facing impacts from climate variability and change, and the importance of leveraging climate data and services to support research and public education. To address these needs, NOAA embarked upon an ambitious program to develop a NOAA Climate Services Portal (NCS Portal). Our goal is for the Portal to become the "go-to" website for NOAA's climate data, products, and services for all users....Provides information about the impacts of climate on many areas, such as agriculture, energy, transportation, economics, and research.  Climate.gov features a Global Climate Dashboard providing interactive data visualization for measurements, such as temperature, sea level, carbon dioxide, and Arctic sea ice.  The site contains links to a wealth of data and educational resources

Native Energy : Read about carbon offsets and global warming.

PEW Center on Global Climate Change : Educates the public and key policy makers about the causes and potential consequences of climate change, and encourages the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Preparing for A Changing Climate: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change in the Great Lakes Region (2000) : This report summarizes the methods, findings, and recommendations from the Great Lakes Regional Assessment Team regarding the potential impacts of future climate change and variability in the Great Lakes region.

RealClimate : RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science. All posts are signed by the author(s), except 'group' posts which are collective efforts from the whole team. This is a moderated forum.

United Nations Climate Change Portal : Also called Gateway to the UN System's Work on Climate Change

United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Climate Change Portal : Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our time. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change. Climate change impacts will range from affecting agriculture- further endangering food security-, sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing intensity of natural disasters, species extinction and the spread of vector-borne diseases. 

United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat : Provides links to UNEP and U.N. organizations, U.N. Convention on Climate Change, scientific and policy sites on ozone depletion, global data reports, and the WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion (1998), which includes input from more than 300 scientific experts.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Portal : Contains a wealth of elementary information about global warming, such as what the problem is and what we know about. It also contains links to a slew of reports on this topic written by EPA scientists and other international authorities.

U.S. Global Change Research Program : The Global Change Science Program integrates federal research on climate and global change as sponsored by thirteen federal agencies.

US National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change : A detailed overview of the consequences of climate change  and mechanisms for adaptation

Vital Climate Graphics (Print copy available in MSU Government Documents Library Oversize Collection) : As evidence accumulates that we may already be witnessing the early signs of global climate change, the need to communicate this issue to both policymakers and the general public becomes ever more urgent. The challenge facing generalists is that the subject is complex and often highly specialized. Much of our understanding of climate change comes from sophisticated computer-based models, data sets, and theoretical insights. Decision-makers need insight into such scientific information if they are to craft and implement effective solutions.

Warsaw Climate Change Conference, November 2013

William and Mary Government Information : Climate Change.  A collection of government documents about climate change.

The World Bank: Climate Change : Climate change continues to be of grave concern to many, and the World Bank is particularly concerned with the ramifications it will have on people in the developing world. Their Climate Change site is designed to provide an overview of their work on this vexing problem including information about their current projects, data sets, research papers, and books. Visitors should start by looking over their weblog, and then take a look at their "What's New" area. Here, they can learn about innovative carbon trading programs, engineering projects, and international agreements designed to mitigate the effects of climate change. The "Research & Analysis" area has dozens of free publications, including the very relevant "Climate Resilient Cities" work, which discusses how city governments can better understand how to plan for the impact of climate change through sound urban planning.

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