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What We Know

What We Know

Launch Tool

What We Know is an assessment from the American Association for the Advancement of Science of current climate science and impacts that emphasizes the need to understand and recognize possible high-risk scenarios. To guide the initiative, the association brought together a group of climate science experts to address why so many Americans still think the scientific community is divided on the issue. In order to try to change that belief, What We Know presents the three "Rs" of climate change, including:

  1. Reality — about 97% of climate experts have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening.
  2. Risk — there are climate change impacts we can expect, but we also must consider what might happen, especially the small, but real, chance that we may face abrupt changes with massively disruptive impacts.
  3. Response — that there is much we can do and that the sooner we respond, the better off we will be.
The resource is easy to navigate and has three main sections: What We Know, Hear from Scientists, and About the Initiative. The Hear from Scientists section has videos that help share what climate experts have concluded from the evidence about climate change.

Going Further


For Educators

You can use this resource to help students understand some of the latest scientific research about climate change. It could be used in a lesson about climate change to help provide students with some general information about climate change and help them understand that the scientific community is not divided on the issue.

Since one of the goals of this resource is to help communicate scientific ideas to the public, you could use it as a launching pad to a discussion about the importance of being able to present scientific ideas and observations in a clear manner. You also could use it to launch a science writing activity in which your students pick a topic that is important to them, conduct research on it, and then communicate it to their peers.

This resource is also available in Spanish, making it useful for English language learners, as well.

Abrupt Climate Change
9-12 |
Simulating Climate Change Research in Grasslands
9-12 | Video
Changing Oceans
6-12 | Audio
Going Green: An Earth Day Bibliography
K-12 | Teaching Aid

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Tool Details

Grades Themes Type Project 2061 Benchmarks National Science Standards
AAAS