Links, resources & further reading


Skeptical Science. This is the go-to site for answers to questions about what is true and false in the confusing and conflicting welter of information & misinformation about the climate problem.

Realclimate. This site is run by working scientists both for themselves and the interested public. It reports on recent discoveries and controversies, as well as offering refutations of false claims.

Yale Environment 360. This is a publication of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with excellent articles on many subjects related to this problem

The Discovery of Global Warming. This superb site is a web version of Dr Spencer Weart's book on this subject. In fact, it has much more than the book, is very well organised and a mine of information.

NASA Goddard Institute. One of the world's leading research institutes. There is a link here to the page of Science Briefs, short articles by GISS scientists on their work; and one to the GISS temperature record data.

James Hansen's site. Hansen is thought by many to be the finest scientist working on this problem. He retired as GISS director in 2013 to concentrate more on advocacy. All his publications are freely available here.

Joe Romm's blog. This site, Climate Progress, is a long-running source of many things - research news, responses to deniers, US political news, and opinion pieces. Joe is a physicist with an insider's know-how.

The National Academies Press. This publisher makes available several very good titles for PDF download, including an introductory booklet. The linked page has some of them.

NOAA - The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. One of the global temperature monitoring Centres, NOAA also runs the Scripps Institute and its CO2 monitoring labs.

NSIDC - The National Snow & Ice Data Centre. This unit at the University of Colorado publishes some of the best data on the changing cryosphere (Earth's glacial and polar ice).

AGW Observer. If you have a wish to explore the scientific literature on any topic relevant to the climate problem, Ari Jokimäki has probably got it here at this wonderful site.

Coursera. You can now take a number of free online courses if you want to learn more about this. A search might as well start here, although there are other places to go too.

Google scholar & Wikipedia. Don't forget these excellent sources of free information. Not all Wikipedia articles are the same quality, of course, but there is heaps of excellent stuff there. Google scholar will frequently produce (for private use) a PDF of a paper otherwise blocked to non-subscribers.

Books ...

a few by working scientists

The Rough Guide to Climate Change. Robert Henson wrote this as an introduction for anyone wanting to start exploring the subject. It's possibly still the best thing of its kind (2nd ed, 2008).

The Long Thaw: how humans are changing the next 100,000 years of Earth's climate. This short book by a busy oceanographer David Archer, packs a lot of excellent stuff into less than 200 pages.

Storms of my Grandchildren. James Hansen wrote this while still director of GISS, motivated, as he says, by deep concern for future people. His understanding is second to none & it's a wonderful book.

The Two-Mile Time Machine. Penn State geologist Richard Alley wrote this to explain the amazing discoveries made from the study of ice cores. Alley was himself very much involved in the Greenland ice drilling program that revealed so much about the climate system's instability.

Fixing Climate. This was written by Robert Kunzig with Wally Broecker, one of the pioneering investigators of the climate problem. It's an absorbing account of discovery through the career of this outstanding scientist.

Under  Green Sky. Paleoclimatologist Peter Ward tells the story of how climate disruptions have affected life on Earth in the remote past ... and what these discoveries mean for our future.

The Weather Makers. Tim Flannery is an Australian mammologist and writer who became interested in the climate problem the same way many of us did. His book is still one of the best introductions you can find.

a few by other scientists, science writers & journalists

Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Elizabeth Kolbert is a writer for the New Yorker. This book is based on a series of articles she wrote for the magazine. It is accurate, ernest and beautifully written. You might also look at The Sixth Extinction, a new book by the same author - equally fine.

High Tide: news from a warming world; and Six Degrees: our future on a hotter planet. Mark Lynas, a science journalist wrote both books to explain what science is trying to tell us about the future.

Thin Ice. Mark Bowen, a science writer, accompanied the pioneering glaciologist Lonnie Thompson on several expeditions in order to write this account of his important discoveries.

With Speed and Violence. Veteran science writer Fred Pearce, through interviews with working scientists and reviews of past and current research, takes us deftly through a riveting account of the state of knowledge.

Eaarth. Bill McKibben, author and (now) activist, wrote this marvellous book to show how the planet we are accustomed to will be different in future. That's why he gave it a new name. It's an important bit of work.

Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway; and Climate Cover-up, by James Hoggan. Two books about the important subject of climate denial - what it is, how it happened, and how you can deal with it. What makes these books essential for anyone who wants to understand the problem is what they reveal about the phoney character of the so-called "debate".


IPCC. The reports issued by this big ad hoc committee of working scientists are large, and packed with detailed information - way too much for most folks. However, they are accompanied by very useful summaries - the latest one was published at the end of 2013. Very accurate. Lots of good stuff.

Turn Down the Heat: why a 4℃ warmer world must be avoided. The World Bank issued this important report in 2013. You can find it, as well as other quality publications at their site.

Too late for two degrees? Price Waterhouse Cooper published this interesting summary (2012) of their thinking about the way forward to a carbon-free future.

State of the Climate. Published by Australia's CSIRO, this summary of observable trends in the continental climate makes sobering reading. You'll find it at the CSIRO climate change page.

Off the Charts. The Climate Council was created when the Australian government abolished its own public education body, the Climate Commission. In a few days, concerned citizens pledged a year's funding for the group to continue its work. Will Steffen, author or co-author of its two new reports, is one of the world's best systems scientists working on this problem. The link will take you to the Council's main page.

What we know. This short report from the prestigious AAAS aims to summarise the state of our knowledge of the climate problem, its risks and solutions, and the urgency of recognising them.

Advocacy & action ... how to get involved

Citizens Climate Lobby. This group uses a distinctive approach to engaging with our political institutions. CCL acknowledges that passionate opposition & harassment can be incrementally effective, but these methods won't be fast enough for the urgent problem of climate. Instead, CCL has recorded impressive success by building respectful, trusting relationships with politicians of all parties, moving the climate conversation in Washington toward the possibility of enacting effective public policies. It has established volunteer teams all over the USA, and is getting going in several other countries.

Hundreds of local, national and regional groups. Rather than list the many groups all over the world that give you the chance to exercise your citizenship in this cause, I'll suggest you can pretty easily discover them by searching wherever you are. A majority of folks everywhere understand there's a problem, and that it must be fixed by institutional means, as well as individual actions. It's essential that everyone who cares about our duty to future people becomes involved in some way in persuading our representatives to do what is needed.