Our Interconnected Earth: Climate Change, Recent Events, and Local Impacts

Our climate system is interconnected. This means that actions and events happening across the globe have local impacts. Our climate system is also changing. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have led to warming temperatures, melting ice, a rising ocean, shifting precipitation patterns, and changing atmospheric winds. These changes have increased the likelihood of seeing extreme and unprecedented events, like those that have unfolded in 2020. Life on Earth is sensitive to climate; human society is especially susceptible because we rely on climate-vulnerable, complex, and often fragile systems for food, water, energy, health, and security. NASA’s unique satellite observations are critical for monitoring, predicting, and understanding how fast our climate is changing and how these changes are affecting our everyday lives in Virginia. Dr. Taylor will use NASA observations to demonstrate the interconnected nature of our climate, discuss basic concepts of climate change, and put current events into the context of climate change.