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Science: Climate Change

An overview of resources to get you started in studying or researching science topics.

Climate Change

"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms."

— President Barack Obama

Climate change has been one of the biggest threats we have potentially faced in our time.  Many scientists have amassed a significant amount of data to prove its existence, whereas many other scientists have refuted their data and have denied its existence.  One point that cannot be argued is that we have only one earth, and the more we take steps to protect it, the better off the future will be for us and other forms of life that share the planet with us.

Search tips

1) Start with an overview for your topic.  For example, you can start with an encyclopedia such as Credo Reference or Gale Virtual Reference Library (see list of BPL resources below) to get a basic idea of what your topic is all about.

2) Once you have a general idea of what your topic is about, you can narrow your topic down by subcategory, such as "Ecosystems" or "Global Warming" under "Climate Change."

3) Search for more information on your topic, using journal article databases, government websites, organization websites, etc.  A good place to start is the Science in Context database which includes reference resources, experiments, statistics, magazine and academic journal articles, news articles, maps, multimedia,and external websites.

Different types of information that you can look for include:

  • Overview -- General description or outline of a topic
  • Statistics -- Collection of quantitative data
  • Evidence -- A visible sign of a phenomenon ; something which demonstrates that a phenomenon or theory exists or is true
  • Guides -- "How-to" instructions or an outline of how to do something
  • News Articles -- Article from a newspaper or other news source; good source of current and local information and can be considered a primary source
  • Blogs -- Website on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences
  • Journal Articles -- Article from a magazine or academic journal
  • Multimedia -- Videos, photographs, or audio resources
  • Reports -- Official documents from the government or other institution that give information about a particular subject
  • Interviews -- Reporting of meetings at which information is obtained from a person

For more information on conducting research on a topic, see from Case Western Reserve University.


Online Climate Change Resources

These links provide access to government and other reports, statistics,  and current developments for high school and college students as well as anyone interested in climate change, global warming, and related fields.


Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Features a collection of reports on the effects of climate change on the Earth. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- Climate and Health
Includes information on the climate's effect on health.

Climate Data Online
Provides global historical weather and climate data. 

Historic Climate Data Online
Climate data portals from the federal government.

Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM)
Provides information on environmental issues in Massachusetts and legislative information.

Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs – Climate Change
Provides information on climate change in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions
Provides information on clean energy and climate indicators in the Commonwealth. 

Global Climate Change Research Explorer
Includes scientific data relating to the atmosphere, the oceans, the areas covered by ice and snow, and living organisms.

National Air and Space Administration – Global climate change
Includes facts (evidence, causes, and effects) about climate change as well as solutions and images.

Provides access to links in several different subtopics of environmental science.  

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Includes factual and other information for the public, students, and researchers.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration – Climate
Climate information and data from NOAA

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Provides access to research, discoveries, and news in n environmental science and the human impact on the environment.
Includes research and development, technical reports, journal citations, databases, federal websites, and fact sheets.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Climate change
Provides information on the impacts of climate change by region, why the climate is changing, and what we can do about it.  The site also includes news and data.

Effects of climate change on human evolution from the Smithsonian Institute

Resources at the Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library provides access to indexes and full-text articles through the Electronic Resources page (  Many of these resources are available off-site to residents of Massachusetts.  Suggested databases are listed below:


The catalog for the Boston Public Library is available at

Suggested subject headings:


For assistance with searching and locating items held by the Boston Public Library and other libraries in the Metro Boston Library Network, see