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What is this site?

The goal of this site is to summarize the most important lines of evidence for human-caused climate change. It confronts the stickier questions about uncertainty in our projections, engages in a discussion of risk and risk management, and concludes by presenting different options for taking action. This site sticks to the facts and does not get into politics. We hope that the facts prepare you for more effective conversations with your community about values, trade-offs, politics, and actions.

A note about the scientific method

An illustration of Dr. Kerry Emanuel

Dr. Kerry Emanuel

Dr. Kerry Emanuel is the Cecil and Ida Green professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 1981, after spending three years on the faculty of UCLA. Professor Emanuel’s research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction. He is the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and three books, including Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, published by Oxford University Press and aimed at a general audience, and What We Know about Climate Change, published by the MIT Press. He is a co-director of MIT’s Lorenz Center, a climate think tank devoted to basic, curiosity driven climate research. Professor Emanuel also wrote the original Climate Primer, upon which this site is based, with the generous support of Dr. Lawrence H. Linden SM ’70, PhD ’76, Founder and Trustee of the Linden Trust for Conservation.


  • Author

    Dr. Kerry Emanuel

  • Narration authors

    Dr. Kerry Emanuel & Laur Hesse Fisher

  • Voice

    Laur Hesse Fisher

  • Production

    Laura Howells-Barby, MIT Open Learning & Laur Hesse Fisher, MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative

  • Design & Development


  • Q&A author

    Susan Joy Hassol of Climate Communication

  • Illustrations of people

    Shun Liang

  • Earth at night video

    NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

  • Aerial photography

    Ivan Bandura, Stephen Cook, Stephen Pedersen, and Dan Grinwis on Unsplash

  • Special thanks to

    Dr. Lawrence H. Linden, Jim Gomes, Curt Newton & Rachel Fritts

  • Contact

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