In just the past year or two, a lot of good climate science has become much more accessible to the general public. I think the general public is smart enough to understand the basics of good climate science, and there have been some good recent first steps by scientists that are helping to improve their communication on the issue.
The bottom line is that scientists are very confident climate change is occurring, and feel strongly that action is needed immediately to limit the impact to people and nature. Before you know it, climate change could be impacting your backyard – and may already be. Let’s all get informed and help inform others about good climate science.
One website, SkepticalScience.com, has created great resources that explain in simple terms what the best science says about many of the climate-skeptic arguments. One-line answers to 141 climate-skeptic arguments are provided, as well as deeper examinations with different levels of scientific detail – basic, intermediate, advanced – depending on how far someone wants to dive into the science. (See the top five climate-skeptic arguments above.)
Mobile-phone applications are being developed that bring climate science to the hands of people all over the world. SkepticalScience.com has free mobile-phone applications for iPhone, Android, and other phones that allow you to quickly access what peer-reviewed science says about skeptic arguments, view climate-change science maps and graphs, and report skeptic arguments you’ve encountered. And Climate Central has reviewed 10 mobile-phone applications that range from providing answers to climate-science questions to allowing you to analyze climate-change data on-the-fly.
There are also some very informative and easy-to-read short books recently released that provide explanations of climate science that are understandable to the general public. Here are a few:
- Climate Central and Sally Ride Science recently produced a short book titled What You Need to Know: Twenty Questions and Answers About Climate Change.
- The Skeptical Science website recently released a short book titled The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism.
- For more science that is still accessible to the general public, the Climate Change Compendium 2009 was produced by the United Nations Environment Program.
- And to dive deeper into the science, see AmericasClimateChoices.org and related publications produced by the United States National Academies.
Evan Girvetz is a senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy’s Global Climate Change Team
Graphic by SkepticalScientist.com
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