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How to Better Understand the Climate Crisis: Your Questions Answered

The enormity of climate change can be tough for anyone to wrap their mind around. Start here to ground yourself in the science of the challenges ahead—without losing hope.

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Understanding the science of the climate crisis is a critical first step in taking effective action. Read on to learn more about why our planet is warming and why it matters how we tell that story. You’ll also find helpful resources for coping with climate anxiety, because hope and resilience may be as essential to the climate struggle as anything.

Find even more environmental action inspiration in our How to Help the Planet collection, with advice on coexisting with creatures, making your wardrobe more sustainable, and more.

Image by Philipp Rohner / 500px/ Getty Images

What Is Climate Change? A Really Simple Guide


World temperatures are rising because of human activity, and climate change now threatens every aspect of human life. Left unchecked, humans and nature will experience catastrophic warming, with worsening droughts, rising sea levels and mass extinction of species. The world faces a huge challenge, but there are potential solutions.

Have More Climate Questions? Get Answers Here.

Climate Desk
The New York Times

Climate change is tremendously complex — and we’re here to help. The climate desk at The Times has been collecting reader questions and has started answering them here. Type your question in the search box to see if we’ve covered it yet.