Climate change

Where can I find information about climate change?

Entry last updated: 11/08/17

Introduction

Climate change is a change in worldwide climate patterns, like the weather. It is a very important topic in current events because the world is seeing a very large change in climate due to global warming.

Useful words and phrases

Here are some words and phrases you might come across when researching this topic.

Climate: Climate refers to the normal weather patterns of a place, such as average temperature, rainfall, wind etc.

Climate change: The change in the normal weather patterns, which can mean warming, cooling, or other changes.

Global warming: The long term rising of the earths temperature.

Greenhouse effect: The warming of the earths surface and the air above it, caused by gases in the air that trap energy from the sun.

Greenhouse gas: Is a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect, for example carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

The ozone layer: The shrinking ozone later is an important part of the larger topic of global warming.

A changing climate

Try these websites to find out more about the climate and how it is changing.

NASA's Climate Kids

NASA has a great page which explains climate change in a way that's easy to understand.

  • On the left-hand menu, there's a great Guided Tour of the Big Questions which should help answer lots of different questions, like Whats the deal with carbon? and What is the greenhouse effect?
  • Check out the Planet Health Report for information about air, temperature, sea level, and sea ice.

NASA

We like NASA's general website about global climate change too because it comes from a reliable organisation and has heaps of well-researched facts.

  • Scroll down a bit till you see the heading What Is Climate Change - there are four circles here with answers to common questions.
  • Click on Evidence to find out how we know that climate change is real.
Tips: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can sometimes tell these sites by their web address – they might have .gov or .edu in their address – or by looking at their About us or Contact pages.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC resources. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Select the Middle level.
  • Search for the keywords 'climate change'.
  • This will bring up articles about climate change and global warming.
  • You can use the side bar to find other types of resources, like this video about Climate Change over time.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Causes and impacts of climate change

Most scientists agree that climate change is caused by humans and the effect that we are having on our environment. They are also concerned about the impact of climate change in the future. To find out more about the greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases, have a look through these websites.

NASA

This is a good place to find reliable research on the causes and impacts of climate change.

  • Scroll down a bit till you see the heading What Is Climate Change? - there are four circles here with answers to common questions.
  • Select Causes to find out why climate change is happening.
  • Select Effects to find out what climate change is doing to the world, and predictions about how it will change the world in the future.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

This is one of the EPIC resources. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

This particular database looks at different sides of the argument for many topical subjects, including climate change.

  • You can do a general search using the keywords 'climate change' to find information including viewpoints, journal articles, statistics, images and more.
  • The other way to find information if by looking under the heading Energy and Environmentalism, then choosing the link to Global Warming and Climate Change.

Science in Context

This resource is full of science information for students covering a wide range of topics, including causes of climate change such as the greenhouse effect.

GREENR - Global Reference on the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources

This database contains current information on the physical, social and economic aspects of environmental issues, including climate change.

  • Do a general search using the keywords 'climate change' and you will get lots of results.
  • You can narrow the results down by subject along the left hand side of the page.
  • Look under Topics associated with these results which is where you can find out about 'Climate Refugees'. This is all about the effect that climate change has on human communities.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Action on climate change

Because of how serious the impacts of climate change can be, there are many different organisations that are working to reduce it.

NASA

We like NASA's website about global climate change because it comes from a reliable organisation and has heaps of researched facts about climate change.

  • Scroll down a bit till you see the heading What Is Climate Change? - there are four circles here with answers to common questions.
  • Click on Solutions to see what is being done around the world to solve climate change.

Global Issues in Context

This is one of the EPIC resources. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

BBC News

This is a great place to find information on current events and news from around the world. Use the search box at the top right of the page to search for news about climate change.

Tips: It’s worth checking out what the other major news sites have on a topic too: CNN (American), PBS News (American), ABC News (Australian) and our own Television New Zealand. They will all have links to world news.

Climate change in New Zealand

Climate change is also an issue of concern in Aotearoa New Zealand. These sites have information about climate change in New Zealand, how it could affect our country and what is being done about it.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

To find information about climate change in New Zealand:

  • scroll down to the Sections part of the website and click on Earth, Sea and Sky
  • choose Climate and Atmosphere
  • to find out about the current climate in New Zealand, choose Climate, or
  • to find out about how the climate is changing, choose Climate Change.

The Ministry for the Environment - Manatū Mō Te Taiao

The Ministry for the Environment has a large section of its website dedicated to sharing information about Climate Change. Click on Climate Change across the top of the front page to check it out.

Here you can find:

  • an overview of climate change
  • how climate change could affect New Zealand
  • adapting to climate change
  • international forums and agreements that New Zealand is part of, such as the Paris Agreement
  • information about greenhouse gas emissions
  • and Resources, including Resources for schools.

Also under the Regions heading, you can choose what area of New Zealand you live in and see what information you can find. This includes how climate change may affect temperature, rainfall, snowfall, wind, storms, glaciers, and the rising sea level in your local area.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

NIWA - Taihoro Nukurangi

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research was set up by the New Zealand government to do research on sustainable use of natural resources like our air and water.

  1. Click on Science along the top of the page.
  2. Now choose Climate.
  3. Scroll down the page a bit and click on Climate change scenarios for New Zealand to read a report about how climate change is likely to affect New Zealand.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Statistics New Zealand - Environmental statistics

This is a great website for finding out statistical information about New Zealand. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that it's run by the New Zealand Government, so the information will be reliable and relevant.

Have a look at the sections Greenhouse gas emissions and Greenhouse gas intensity. You will find lots of good statistical information here.

Science Learning

This website has been especially for students and teachers and covers lots of different science topics.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
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