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 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.
Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management indexes citations and abstracts of journal articles, conference proceedings, government reports, and books in agricultural, natural science, technological, and engineering aspects of environmental sciences and pollution. You can limit to peer-reviewed sources. 1967-present.
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.
Use a subject search and enter one of the following Library of Congress subject headings:
Also, to help focus a search, many of the above subject terms can be used together with appropriate subheadings such as:
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.
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.
Provides a primer on understanding climate change as well as links to more information for educators and researchers.
This site focuses on international efforts to address climate change, including the Kyoto protocol and the Copenhagen convention.