Global Climate Change

Linda Jones, Northeast Center, Saratoga Unit, SUNY Empire State College writes:

“Climatology (climate science) is a field within atmospheric sciences which focuses on the long term atmospheric conditions of a region.  Six broad groups are used to characterize global climate regions:

  1. Humid Tropical
  2. Dry
  3. Humid middle latitudes
  4. Polar
  5. Highland

“These classification groups are based on temperature and precipitation averages, extremes, and seasonality.  Because species and ecosystems develop adaptations related to temperature conditions and moisture availability, and soils develop different characteristics in response to climate conditions, climatology is an important area of study for those in the environmental sciences and sustainability.

“Recent research related to global climate has focused on climate change.  Because climate is a component of natural environmental systems, it is inherently dynamic and has experienced periods of change throughout the Earth’s history.  The growing body of scientific research on climate change, then, is not related to the notion that ‘change is now occurring in a climate system which has remained static throughout the Earth’s history.’  Current research is centered on 4 general points of focus:  (1) Climate is changing at a rate to which many species, ecosystems, and cultures may not be able to adapt; (2) Current changes in climate conditions can be linked to changes in atmospheric chemistry;  (3) Long term impacts of climate change are not easily predicted; (4) Natural feedback mechanisms are triggered to mitigate environmental change.  Research in all 4 areas can advise sustainable interactions with the environment.”

Below is a list of resources on this topic. Find a more complete list of resources with links for learning and teaching about this topic on our Pinterest site:
Follow Sustainability’s board Global Climate Change on Pinterest.


Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse, David W. Orr

2009 State of the World: Into a Warming World, The Worldwatch Institute

The End of Nature, Bill McKibben