Each of the last three decades was warmer than all earlier decades in the instrumental record, and each set a new and statistically significant record, culminating in the 2000s, which was the warmest decade of all.
Global climate models project that near the end of the 21st century, average surface temperature over most of Earth’s surface will be several degrees warmer than today, mainly due to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is everywhere: in the air, rising from cracks in the ocean floor, and in your soda can. Now it's showing up in the news! Find out why carbon dioxide is such a hot topic, and why it's going to be around for a long, long time.
Two short, narrated animations about carbon dioxide and Earth's temperature are presented on this webpage. The first animation shows the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, human carbon emissions, and global temperature rise of the past 1,000 years; the second shows changes in the level of CO2 from 800,000 years ago to the present.
In this activity, students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric carbon dioxide. This activity makes extensive use of Excel.