Introduction

Climate change has become a nearly ubiquitous topic in today’s world. The media, scientists, policymakers, business leaders, and citizens are engaged in an impassioned dialogue about the extent to which the planet is changing and how these changes might affect our societies.

Some facts are certain. Human activities, like burning fossil fuels and raising livestock, certainly contribute to the build-up of greenhouse gases. The global average temperature has been rising since pre-industrial times. Yet other aspects are less well-understood. How much of these changes can be attributed to natural climatic variations? What is the relationship between anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change?

These questions are not just the domain of academia, but very well may drive the most important issues of the twenty-first century. The impact of climate change spans all disciplines, from the natural and social sciences to business and the humanities. Here at NAU, researchers from across the campus seek to better understand the causes and impacts of climate change and learn how to mitigate its potential threats. The university coordinates the National Institute for Climate Change Research (NICCR) for the western region, an organization sponsored by the US Department of Energy that mobilizes university researchers to investigate climatic change. NAU also houses the Colorado Plateau Biodiversity Center, a collaborative effort to collect and document species of the plateau--a goal that will become increasingly important as species shift habitat with changing atmospheric conditions.

This site is part of an interdisciplinary network of faculty, staff, and students actively engaged in climate change activities at NAU. It serves to connect people across the campus with one another and the wider community and demonstrates the commitment the university has made to reduce its own carbon footprint.

If you’re interesting in becoming part of this network, adding information about climate change courses, research, or other activities at NAU, please contact the Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research.

To learn more about the science of climate change, visit the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international scientific body established to provide an objective source of information about climate change.


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