Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis

On September 27, 2013, Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its report to member governments for approval and acceptance. The report is the first of four that will make up the IPCC's 5th Assessment.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

The CDIAC is the primary global-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It contains information on concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radioactively active gases in the atmosphere; the role of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases; emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; long-term climate trends; the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on vegetation; and the vulnerability of coastal areas to rising sea level.

In this activity, students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive online model. They use the model and observations to estimate present emission rates and emission growth rates. The model is then used to estimate future levels of carbon dioxide using different future emission scenarios. These different scenarios are then linked by students to climate model predictions also used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This is a jigsaw activity in which students are assigned to research one step out of five in the geochemical process stages of the organic carbon cycle. Students then teach their step in cross-step groups until everyone understands all five process stages.

This interactive animation focuses on the carbon cycle and includes embedded videos and captioned images to provide greater clarification and detail of the cycle than would be available by a single static visual alone.

This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global carbon cycle.

This animation depicts the carbon cycle in a fashion that is suited for younger audiences. The video discusses how carbon enters and exits the environment through both natural and human-driven ways.

This simulation allows the user to project CO2 sources and sinks by adjusting the points on a graph and then running the simulation to see projections for the impact on atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

This video documents how scientists, using marine algae, can study climate change in the past to help understand potential effects of climate change in the future.

In this audio slideshow, an ecologist from the University of Florida describes the radiocarbon dating technique that scientists use to determine the amount of carbon within the permafrost of the Arctic tundra. Understanding the rate of carbon released as permafrost thaws is necessary to understand how this positive feedback mechanism is contributing to climate change that may further increase global surface temperatures.