Climate Science Academy

Accurate climate science information from leading climate scientists


Use this self-guided tutorial to build knowledge and understanding of climate science.

Instructions: Complete the Climate Literacy Essential Principle modules (tabs A-G) at your own pace. For each module, read the preview, watch the video and webinar, and then take the quiz to test your learning.

How do scientists know what they know about climate?

How do we know what we know about the Earth's climate and climate change? CIRES Director Waleed Abdalati explains how satellites help us understand the Earth’s climate system through his talk “Remote Sensing and the Climate Story.”


What is Climate Literacy?

Climate Literacy is an understanding of your influence on climate and climate's influence on you and society.

The booklet, Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science, provides a framework for knowing and understanding about Earth's climate, the impacts of climate change, and approaches to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The overarching Guiding Principle for Informed Climate Decisions states that humans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts.

Mark McCaffrey presents an "Introduction to Climate Literacy."


Why does Climate Literacy matter?

In the coming decades, scientists expect climate change to have an increasing impact on human and natural systems.

In a warmer world, accessibility to food, water, raw materials, and energy are likely to change. Human health, biodiversity, economic stability, and national security are also expected to be affected by climate change.

Climate model projections suggest that negative effects of climate change will significantly outweigh positive ones. The nation’s ability to prepare for and adapt to new conditions may be exceeded as the rate of climate change increases.

A climate literate person:

  • understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system.
  • knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate.
  • communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way.
  • is able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.

Master teacher, Cheryl Manning, explains "Climate Science Curriculum Development and Integration."