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Climate change

Definition and scope

This guide provides a general introduction to resources on the topic of climate change. It is based in part on the following definition of climate change as provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which reads:

Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change may result from:
  • natural factors, such as changes in the sun's intensity or slow changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun
  • natural processes within the climate system (e.g. changes in ocean circulation)
  • human activities that change the atmosphere's composition (e.g. through burning fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation, urbanization, desertification, etc.)

Those with an interest in other aspects of climate should also consult the library subject guide for meteorology and weather.


Environment Complete from EBSCOhost

    EBSCOhost interface
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Sponsored by VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia This resource provides a mobile interface; see description for link Screencast tutorials available for this resource database provides Get VText links

Environment Complete from EBSCOhost

Environment Complete indexes citations, abstracts, and full-text articles from journals, conference proceedings, and books on the agricultural, biological, social science, and technological aspects of the environment. Full text available in HTML and PDF. You can limit to peer-reviewed journals. 1888-present.  

Full record

Environmental Impact from CABI

    Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Screencast tutorials available for this resource Contents of this resource available through Summon database provides Get VText links

Environmental Impact from CABI

Environment Impact indexes citations and full text of journal articles, conference proceedings, government reports, books and ebooks, and other publications on climate change and human impact on the environment. 1910-present.  

Full record

INSPEC from Engineering Village

    Engineering Village
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only database provides Get VText links

INSPEC from Engineering Village

Inspec indexes citations and abstracts from journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and dissertations in engineering and physical sciences. 1898-present.   

Full record


Opposing Viewpoints In Context from Gale

    Gale Opposong Viewpoints
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Contents of this resource available through Summon

Opposing Viewpoint Resource Center from Gale

Opposing Viewpoints offers over 14,000 pro/con viewpoint essays on controversial topics and current events, plus thousands of topic overviews, primary source documents, biographies of social activists, court case overviews, related full-text periodical articles, statistical tables, and multimedia content.  

Full record


Addison and Summon

Addison and Summon

Use a subject search and enter one of the following Library of Congress subject headings:

  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Climatic changes
  • Global environmental change
  • Global temperature changes
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse effect, atmospheric
  • Ocean – atmosphere interaction

Also, to help focus a search, many of the above subject terms can be used together with appropriate subheadings such as:

  • economic aspects
  • environmental aspects
  • forecasting
  • government policy
  • history
  • measurement
  • research
  • social aspects
Selected library resources

Selected library resources

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech have numerous print and online books related to climate change in the collection. Below are examples of recent publications that present a range of perspectives in order to help fully understand the issues.



There are a multitude of pages on the web related to climate change but finding reputable sources of information can be a challenge. Below is a selected list of sites that serve as a starting point for research.

NOAA Portal
An interactive "climate dashboard" is provided to let users see a range of climate datasets (e.g., temperature, carbon dioxide concentration, and sea level) over adjustable time scales.  This site also features a Web-based science magazine called ClimateWatch, a guide to understanding climate, and educational resources for students and teachers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Climate Change
An accessible introduction to the issue of climate change. Covers such areas as scientific research, health and environmental effects, and U.S. climate policy.
Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change
Established by the UN Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization, the IPCC reviews and assesses worldwide information relevant to climate change.
United States Global Change Research Program
An interagency guide to federal research on climate and global change. The publications section also includes scientific assessments and annual reports to Congress.
NASA – Global Climate Change
Provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this site provides basic information and resources efforts to monitor the "vital signs" of our planet and on indicators of climate change.
NOAA Climate Monitoring

This site from the National Climatic Data Center provides a monthly summary of the state of the climate along with reports on climate extremes, droughts, hurricanes, tropical storms, and societal impacts.

National Center for Atmospheric Research 

Provides a primer on understanding climate change as well as links to more information for educators and researchers.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

This site focuses on international efforts to address climate change, including the Kyoto protocol and the Copenhagen convention.

  •     Ed Lener
  • Edward F Lener
  • Associate Director for Collection Management
  • (540) 231-9249
  • (540) 231-2612 (Derring office)
  • 4030 Newman Library, 560 Drillfield Drive
    3066A Derring Hall, 1405 Perry St.
    Blacksburg, VA 24062