The Science Behind Climate Change

Climate change is by far the most pressing issue facing our generation. Extreme events such as flooding, heat waves, and widespread crop failures are becoming much more common. As a result, climate change has an impact on global environmental and ecological systems, agricultural and forestry systems and food security, human health, freshwater availability, migrations, energy supply and demand, transportation infrastructure, recreational activities, and even professional sporting events. Simply put, climate change affects every aspect of human existence, from the food we eat and where we live to our nation’s security and the global economy.

Climate scientists seek to understand the nature of our climate system and develop solutions to reduce the effects of both human-induced climate change and natural climate variability. Because Earth’s climate results from complex interactions among the oceans. atmosphere, land, ice, ecosystems, and people; climate science is a highly interdisciplinary area of scientific study.  The constituent areas of climate science include biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, hydrology, oceanography, meteorology, atmospheric science, climatology, and environmental physics. Climate scientists must also be well-versed in scientific communication as they need to be able to explain the realities of climate change and its impacts on the weather, ecological systems, and our food and water supply to both scientific and non-scientific audiences. They also need to be able to explain all of these things to audiences that reject scientific fact altogether.

To learn more about climate science and to access Ocean Connect’s wide range of educational and career resources, please visit our Climate Science snapshot.