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The Climate Science Special Report (CSSR)

The Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) was first published in 2017. Still, several information and graphs currently circulating, relate and are derived from this report. Its production was overseen by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to be an assessment of the science of climate change and to serve as the foundation for efforts to assess climate-related risks and support decision-making. Each of the 15 chapters assess the state of the science for a particular aspect of the changing climate and its physical impacts: greenhouse gases, particles, temperatures, precipitation, droughts, floods, wildfire, extreme storms, ocean changes, land use, terrestrial biogeochemistry.


You can click here to go straight to the following three key findings from Chapter 2: Physical Drivers of Climate Change:

  1. Human activities continue to significantly affect Earth’s climate by altering factors that change its radiative balance.

  2. Aerosols caused by human activity play a profound and complex role in the climate system through radiative effects in the atmosphere and on snow and ice surfaces and through effects on cloud formation and properties.

  3. The interconnected Earth–atmosphere–ocean system includes a number of positive and negative feedback processes that can either strengthen (positive feedback) or weaken (negative feedback) the system’s responses to human and natural influences.


Click on the image below to access either the full report or individual chapters of interest.


Simplified conceptual modeling framework for the climate system as implemented in many climate models (Ch. 4: Projections). Modeling components include forcing agents, feedback processes, carbon uptake processes, and radiative forcing and balance. The lines indicate physical interconnections (solid lines) and feedback pathways (dashed lines). Principal changes (blue boxes) lead to climate impacts (red box) and feedbacks. (Figure source: adapted from Knutti and Rugenstein 2015).



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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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