2019 was the second-warmest year on record. Earth’s global average surface temperature was 1.71°F (0.95°C) above the 20th-century average in 2019. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.

How Do We Know The World Is Warming?

Scientists interpret patterns to construct explanations and come to evidence-based conclusions. The NOAA interactive website Ten Signs for a Warming World presents ten key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. Each indicator is linked to NOAA data and a short discussion of impacts. Together, the data present multiple pathways for understanding the complex global changes that are occurring due to human activities.

Download the interactive presentation


Photo: King Tide and storm surge events can help us understand and plan for the impacts of rising sea level.

Understanding the Science

Comparing Weather and Climate

  • Presentation: Comparing Weather and Climate from the NOAA Climate office 

    • Access NCDC DataTools to find out the minimum, maximum and average temperatures for other areas in the U.S. Compare the Minneapolis July 4th min/max temperature data to datasets from other regions. For a given area, compare July min/max data to data from other months of the year.

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate

Reading: Described as “a non-scary book about Climate Change Science and Solutions for grades 4 -8”, How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate by L. Cherry and G. Braash introduces readers to more than 40 climate scientists and their research, and offers practical suggestions that empower students to become citizen scientists and contribute toward solutions.

Sea Level Rise

What Causes Sea Level Rise?

NOAA Module
model of land iceThe NOAA Sea Level Rise learning module describes sea level rise, its causes, and impacts; and challenges students in grades 6-12 to think about what they can do in response.

Thermal Expansion
Thermal expansion accounts for about half of the measured global sea-level rise.

  • Video: Thermal Expansion of Water - This video provides a demonstration and explanation of the thermal expansion of water.
  • Lesson: Thermal Expansion Model - Students will build a model using everyday items to demonstrate that water expands when heat energy is added.

Melting Ice
Melting land ice raises sea level, but melting sea ice does not significantly contribute to sea level.

  • Lesson: What's Causing Sea Level Rise? - This lesson from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses a model to compare the impact of melting land ice versus melting sea ice.

Monitoring Change

How will sea level rise affect salt marsh estuaries?

Sea Level Trends

Lesson: Sentinel Site Story - Follow the activities and data collected by South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve as they monitor salt marshes, keeping track of changes like sea level rise.



Oregon King Tides

  • Oregon King Tides Photo Project - Photo contributions from coastal community members taken during the highest high tides of the year show implications of high water on coastal structures. The King Tides Project generates information that coastal communities can use to reduce vulnerabilities to rising sea levels. Student can contribute photos to this community science project, and take observations from photos submitted by others in a variety of coastal locations. 

  • CoastWatch - The Oregon King Tides photo project is presented by the CoastWatch, a citizen science program which is part of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.

Inland Impacts


How is water availability changing? How do we know?

Drought Resources for Teachers and Students

Measuring Precipitation

  • CoCoRaHS - Collect and report rainfall to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. View data collected around the globe and see how precipitation data are used to identify trends and make forecasts.


Fire Ecology

In the News

Nature Journaling and Observations

  • Ricky's Atlas - This children's book is the second in the Ricky and Ellie series, and focuses on wildfire. Ricky Zamora brings his love of map-making and his boundless curiosity to the arid landscapes east of the Cascade Mountains. He arrives during a wild thunderstorm, and watches his family and their neighbors scramble to deal with a wildfire sparked by lightning. Joined by his friend Ellie, he sees how plants, animals, and people adjust to life with wildfires.
  • Discoveries at the Edge of the Pacific - More about connecting the Ellie and Ricky books to the coast

Additional Climate Change Resources

NOAA Planet Stewards

Oregon Coast Education Program (OCEP)

OCEP logoThe OCEP Modules were developed with funding from NOAA B-WET and are housed on the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) website. Designed for use with students in grades 3-12, the curriculum provides educators with tools to prepare and engage students in hands-on learning about Oregon’s coastal ecosystems and their connections to Oregonians living throughout the state.

Module Three is focused on Climate Change.

Visit the OCEP website, and see a PDF list of all the topics that are included.

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Webinars

Visit the National Marine Sanctuary website to watch live or archived events focused on a variety of ocean and climate literacy topics, including:

NOAA Climate

The NOAA Climate website provides data, tools, and information to help people understand and prepare for climate variability and change. 

Student Stewardship and Action Projects

Picture Climate Change - Students, how has climate change impacted you? Your family? Your school? Your community? NOAA wants to hear your climate impact stories as illustrated by a photo. In what ways has your landscape, wildlife, or way of life changed due to climate shifts? This photo contest is for students in grades 5-12, and submissions are due by November 15, 2021. Learn more