Human Responses to Climate Change

collapse Topic : Causes of Climate Change ‎(2)
Cyclical and Natural Changes
Human-Caused Changes
collapse Topic : Climate System ‎(12)
Atmospheric Circulation
Atmospheric Composition
Carbon Cycle
Climate Compared to Weather
Climate Feedbacks
Global Energy Balance
Greenhouse Effect
Ocean and Climate
Orbital Cycles
Regional Climates
Solar Radiation
Water Cycle
collapse Topic : Human Responses to Climate Change ‎(3)
Personal Responsibility
Risk Management
Social Values
collapse Topic : Impacts of Climate Change ‎(13)
Agricultural Changes
Economic Impacts
Ecosystem Changes
Extreme Weather
Freshwater Resources
Great Lakes Impacts
Melting Ice and Permafrost
Ocean Warming and Acidification
Plants and Animals
Public Health
Sea Level Rise
Surface Temperature Warming
collapse Topic : Measuring and Modeling Climate ‎(2)
Climate Modeling
Gathering and Measuring Climate Data

Personal Responsibility   

Our actions in response to climate change will have broad local and global implications.

  • Reducing human vulnerability to the impacts of climate change depends not only on our ability to understand climate science, but also on our ability to integrate that knowledge into human society. Decisions that involve Earth’s climate must be made with an understanding of the complex interconnections among the physical and biological components of the Earth system as well as the consequences of such decisions on social, economic, and cultural systems.

  • Actions taken by individuals, communities, states, and countries all influence climate. Practices and policies followed in homes, schools, businesses, and governments can affect climate. Climate-related decisions made by one generation can provide opportunities as well as limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. Steps toward reducing the impact of climate change may influence the present generation by providing other benefits such as improved public health infrastructure and sustainable built environments.


There are many avenues through which people can make a positive change.

  • If everyone were to make small changes in their lifestyle, the collective effect would be significant toward reversing the harmful effects of climate change.

  • A citizen, acting individually or as part of a group or organization, may make decisions (such as deciding to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car) and take actions (riding the bicycle) that determine how the energy they use will be managed. Citizens may also affect the actions of other individuals, groups, or organizations to determine how the energy they use will be managed. This can be accomplished by ecomanagement (physical action), education, persuasion, consumer action, political action, or legal action. (KEEP Conceptual Framework)