What's Happening & Why


Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented increases in temperature at Earth’s surface, as well as in the atmosphere and oceans. Many other aspects of global climate are changing as well. Human activities, especially emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and land-use change, are the primary driver of the climate changes observed in the industrial era.

Impacts on Society

Farmer working a field of crops

Impacts related to climate change are evident across regions and in many sectors important to society—such as human health, agriculture and food security, water supply, transportation, energy, ecosystems, and others—and are expected to become increasingly disruptive in the coming decades.

Response Options

Wind farm

The impacts of global climate change in the United States are already being felt and are projected to intensify in the future, especially without further action to reduce climate-related risks. As the impacts of climate change grow, Americans face decisions about how to respond.