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Climate Change Basics: Northwest

Understanding the science behind climate change can be a challenge. Here we provide an introduction to climate science and clarify common misconceptions around climate change. We address the difference between climate and weather, the importance of the carbon cycle, explains climate models and the associated uncertainties, and describes what goes into future climate projections.

Climate change is predicted to accelerate through the 21st century, leading to changes in forests, farmlands, and rangelands. Climate change presents threats to US agricultural production, forest and rangeland resources, and rural and personal economies. These threats have significant implications not just for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, but for all Americans. An important part of USDA’s mission is to help farmers, ranchers and forest owners manage risks and ensure access to food, fiber, and many ecosystem services for current and future generations. As such, USDA has an obligation to address the risks associated with climate change and the USDA Climate Hubs highlight a few options for educational materials, resources and tools that are region-specific to help change practices on working landscapes to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Blogs and Newsletters

Basics of climate change from the Royal Society a fellowship of well-known, worldwide scientists

Key terms to understand climate change

Climate of the Inland Northwest US, a blog by John Abatzoglou, associate professor at the University of Idaho who studies weather and climate. Here he highlights relevant climate and weather related phenomenon for the Inland Northwest.

Courses, Videos, and Webinars

Climate insights 101 from the Pacific Institute for Climatic Solutions

Climate change: It’s real. It’s serious. And it’s up to us to solve it.-National Geographic

5 things you should know about climate change-National Geographic

Hear from scientists-The American Association for the Advancement of Science

USDA NRCS online air quality, energy and climate change courses-eXtension

USDA Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center: Education

Weather versus climate-National Geographic


Climate literacy: the essential principles of climate science: NOAA   

Guidance in teaching climate and energy science from CLEAN: Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network

Observed changes and their causes-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-Intrenational Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The Basics: Center for climate and energy solutions

What we know-The American Association for the Advancement of Science