New Guide on Climate Literacy

A guide is now available to help individuals of all ages understand how climate influences them -- and how they influence climate. A product of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, it was compiled by an interagency group led by NOAA.

"This guide is a first step for people who want to know more about the essential principles of our climate system, how to better discern scientifically credible information about climate, and how to identify problems related to understanding climate and climate change."
Tom Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., and lead for NOAA's climate services.

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science is available online at: and

Source: NOAA

The downloadable pdf is both educational and thought-provoking.

Starting with the IPCC 2007 observation that it had a "very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming", the document demonstrates the need for a climate-literate citizenry. It then defines the term 'climate literacy' and shows that climate-science literacy is a part of general science literacy.

The document shows that no single individual can be expected to understand every detail of all branches of climate science. Accordingly, its focus is on the interconnections between findings in different fields  - what its authors call a 'systems-thinking' approach.

Unlike so many documents of its type - which are all style and no content - this publication is well-written, well-researched and well thought out. Above all else, it is readable

A highly recommended read.