Climate Change Resources For Iowans

The online resources about human-caused climate change are virtually limitless; here is a selection of our favorites. The science is incontrovertible, the change is already happening, and society is mobilizing. Energy Districts lead and accelerate the implementation of locally-owned “green meets green” solutions – solutions that contribute both to climate stewardship and local economic opportunity, jobs, and resilient communities.

These online resources are organized in the following sections:

  • Iowa and Midwest Impacts
  • For Educators, Kids, and Community Conversation
  • Roadmaps Towards Climate Stability and Integrity
  • The Best Climate Science In The World

Iowa and Midwest Impacts

Iowa Climate Statements are drawn up by a broad set of leading Iowa scientists and generally address a different topic each year. The most recent 2018 statement was titled “Designing Buildings and Communities for Iowa’s Future Climate, and previous statements have addressed agriculture, public health, flooding, drought, heat/humidity, and more.

The Risky Business Project’s Heat In The Heartland: Climate Change and Economic Risk In The Midwest

Confronting Climate Change In The US Midwest, by the Union of Concerned Scientists

The USDA Midwest Climate Hub, and especially the Climate Hub’s 2018 Vulnerability Assessment Of US Agriculture and Forests

Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts https://www.wicci.wisc.edu/index.php

For Educators, Kids, and Community Conversation

NASA has built an amazing array of educational materials, including its ClimateKids site (for both teachers and kids) and its Global Climate Change site Resources page, and amazing interactives on the Explore page.

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication: excellent communications resources, analysis of American opinions, and visualizations and data

National Science Teachers Association climate science resources page, including standards, and resources for educators, parents, and community members

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – the nation’s premier weather and climate agency – provides science and teaching info on climate.gov, hands-on learning at the Planet Stewards Education Project, and a great set of essays written by kids, at Talking to Children.

Roadmaps Towards Climate Stability and Integrity

The IPCC and other science links in the next section include highly detailed analyses of decarbonization scenarios. The links in this section are accessible and thought-provoking looks at the large-scale challenge. Meanwhile, the rest of our website and work – and the work of so many others locally – is about practical solutions we all can and are implementing now, every day, throughout our communities.

One of the best analyses of global decarbonization roadmaps for us lay folks is provided by Vox climate and energy journalist David Roberts: What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like. We encourage everyone to read this, and to follow Robert’s writing (also check out his post on solving three of the world’s biggest problems together: climate change, energy access, and air pollution; and the best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions, among many other tech, science, and policy posts).

Drawdown is one of the more comprehensive global attempts to identify and quantify the key workable solutions that will contribute to a reversal of global warming and climate change at the global scale. Their analysis is especially notable for detailing the opportunities in land use, education (especially of girls), and family planning, in addition to “the classic” and still critical focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The Midcontinent Power Sector Collaborative includes companies, utilities, and public and non-profit organizations, and recently released A Roadmap to Decarbonization in the Midcontinent.

The Solutions Project was one of the first to analyze and visually present what a 100% renewable energy future could look like in 2050, by country and by US state.

The Best Climate Science In The World

Most resources in the sections above include or reference science. Climate change is one of the most researched topics in the history of science. Over 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming and related climate change impacts are due to human activity, and pose a significant threat to human society, and to the natural systems and richness of life that make our planet such a wonderful home. The short list of references below are access points into the consolidated findings of literally thousands of studies, and what science can tell us about where we’ve come from, where we’re headed, and what options we have for the future.

NASA has been on the forefront of climate change research and preparation for decades, and their Global Climate Change site is one of the best for accessible, visual presentation of the facts: evidence, causes, effects, scientific consensus, and vital signs.

The US EPA website on Climate Change Indicators In The United States is an excellent presentation of the science, documentation of US emissions, and presentation of impacts by topic, such as Weather and Climate, the Oceans, Health and Society, and critical Ecosystems.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the global body that consolidates thousands of studies into in-depth reports covering climate change predictions and mitigation strategies. The IPCC is the global voice of climate change science, chartered and commissioned by all nations, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”