Climate change impacts are already on your doorstep, no matter where you live.

But most Americans still don’t attribute these unnatural disasters to climate change.

Better media coverage of the physical impacts of climate change is crucial for raising public awareness and understanding of the severity of the issue.


Climate Change’s Role in Everyday Life

Climate change, caused predominantly by the burning of fossil fuels, is already affecting the things that matter most in your community.

By causing unnatural disasters and other long-term warming trends, climate change impacts nearly everything you care about.

And that’s just a small sliver of the real world impacts of climate change on the American way of life.

Already, unnatural disasters and extreme weather events that can be attributed to climate change are costing the United States economy at least $150 billion every year. And that figure doesn’t include indirect costs, nor does it include the economic drag caused by less extreme–but enormously costly–trends of higher temperatures, hotter summers, and warmer winters on local economies.

Despite the fact that climate change is already on your doorstep, impacting the activities and events and places that matter in your community, most Americans still don’t make the connection to the combustion of fossil fuels or comprehend the urgency of the climate crisis.

The Climate-Weather Attribution Understanding Gap

The science of attributing weather events to human-made climate change has come a long way in the past few years. Today, researchers are able to immediately discern–with a high degree of certainty–how climate change has altered the temperatures in any location worldwide on a day-to-day basis, and also to identify the fingerprints of climate change on extreme weather events.

However, the average American’s understanding of the role that climate pollution is playing in our current environment lags far beyond what is scientifically clear.

It’s safe to say that human-caused climate change is already causing considerably more weather impacts than most Americans realize. Both in terms of immediate extreme weather events and in the longer term warming and weather altering trends.

The American public needs to know that the changes in their communities are climate impacts. Recent research has shown that public support for climate action will increase when the public understands that climate change is an urgent threat happening “here and now” and causing current harm to our family, friends, children, and communities.

Our partners

Climate Central has developed a Climate Shift Index®, which indicates how climate change has altered the frequency of daily high and low temperatures in any location around the world, allowing users to click a map or enter a zip code to visualize the impact of climate change on today’s — or any day’s– temperature anywhere on Earth.

World Weather Attribution works with scientists around the world to rapidly quantify – using weather observations and computer modeling – how climate change influences the intensity and likelihood of extreme weather events in their immediate aftermath.


Solving the climate crisis and minimizing the real-world impacts of climate pollution comes in two forms: mitigating climate change (reducing the causes of climate change) and adaptation (preparing communities and regions and economics for dealing with these impacts that are already occurring and which we cannot now avoid.

It’s been said that the best adaptation strategy is a strong mitigation policy. We need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop lining the atmosphere with climate pollution. But we also need to invest in adaptation and resilience solutions that will protect society’s most vulnerable from the effects of climate change that we have already locked in.

Below you’ll find a number of resources for how to reduce future climate impacts (through better mitigation efforts) and for how to deal with climate impacts that are already baked-in.