ACS Climate Science Toolkit

The fundamental science to help you understand and
communicate climate science

Global climate change, whether a result of natural variability or of human activity, is a vital issue for life on Earth and involves many processes and concepts related to chemistry. Engaging with this issue in deliberative discourse with colleagues and others requires understanding the fundamental science that determines Earth’s climate. This fundamental science is the core content of the ACS Climate Science Toolkit.

Getting Started

Navigate quickly to the Toolkit topics or issues of most interest to you.


Energy Balance & Planetary Temperature

The balance between incoming solar and outgoing thermal infrared energies sets planetary temperatures. Planetary atmospheres can strongly influence this balance.

Atmospheric Warming

Examine how thermal infrared emission from the top of the atmosphere sets Earth’s thermostat and how changes in atmospheric composition reset the thermostat.


Greenhouse Gases

Human activities and natural sources add infrared-absorbing gases to the atmosphere. The effect of each on the temperature depends on its spectroscopic and chemical properties.

Oceans, Ice, & Rocks

Oceans move great quantities of energy and carbon around the Earth. Almost all the energy added to a warming Earth ends up in warmer water and melting ice.


References & Resources

Probe more deeply and broadly into climate science topics and issues that particularly interest you.

Narratives & Presentations

Suppose you have the opportunity to speak to a civic, business, or educational group about climate science. Consider adapting one of these narratives or presentations as a starting point.