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Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science

Created: 2/28/2009 - Updated: 8/03/2018


To protect fragile ecosystems and to build sustainable communities that are resilient to climate change—including extreme weather and climate events—a climate-literate citizenry is essential. This climate science literacy guide identifies the essential principles and fundamental concepts that individuals and communities should understand about Earth’s climate system. Such understanding improves our ability to make decisions about activities that increase vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and to take precautionary steps in our lives and livelihoods that would reduce those vulnerabilities.

Published On

Sunday, March 1, 2009


National / Federal
Sector Addressed: 
Education / Outreach
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations

Related Resources

U.S. Global Change Research Program

Photo attributed to Royalbroil. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Development (socioeconomic)
Disaster Risk Management
Land Use Planning
Public Health
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Tourism / Recreation
Transportation / Infrastructure
Water Resources

The U.S. Global Change Research Program’s mission is “to build a knowledge base that informs human responses to climate and global change through coordinated and integrated federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support.” The Program produces assessments of climate change and its implications, participates in the U.S.