Introduction to Climate Change and Climate Action

Impacts: What are we experiencing right now that are consequences of climate change?

Climate change, also called global warming, is the consequence of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causing the average temperature of the Earth to increase. Most greenhouse gases come from humans burning or releasing fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. The overall warming trend creates extreme and chaotic weather patterns that may not be what you expect when you think of the word “warming” – including record cold winters and snow storms! Climate change drives very dramatic weather such as the most powerful hurricanes ever measured. Other changes are slow trends and may be difficult for human beings to recognize the impact of the warming over the past century.

We are already experiencing examples of extreme weather in the Bay Area and California that show how climate change impacts us. Without positive actions to curb further climate change, these extreme weather events will happen more frequently and in more areas of our beautiful state, and affect more and more people.

Some examples (link to conversation cards*) of how we are already experiencing the impact of climate change include the following:

Youth across our nation are voicing their concerns about impacts of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels they are experiencing in their communities. Learn more by listening to the youth of America at Our Climate Our Future.

Climate change is caused by increased pollution of our atmosphere with greenhouse gases. Most greenhouse gases are released into the air through burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, methane (natural gas), and coal. We generally contribute to climate change every time we travel in a car or airplane, use electricity, buy products made in a factory, or eat food that was farmed in unsustainable ways.