A good portion of the population has probably heard and read a little about "global warming" in the main communication vehicles. Whether in TV reports or featured headlines on major news websites, it is undeniable that the topic "Climate Change" has been discussed more frequently each year. Climate” has been discussed more frequently each year. Despite this growing trend towards the popularization of this topic, does the general public really understand the meaning of terms like “greenhouse effect”, and the implications involved for the future of our planet? With this in mind, researchers from the University of São Paulo worked on the development of educational content for the society, with texts in easy-to-understand language and original illustrations that seek to capture the reader's interest and stimulate learning. All content is freely available at www.climaesociedade.iag.usp.br, with the main goal of contributing to incorporate the theme of Climate Change in society's vocabulary and understanding.

Visit the website and happy reading!

Other recommended readings:

What are the IPCC reports and what are they for? (in Portuguese)


Scientific evidence shows that Earth's climate is changing


"Global warming is taking place - and we are the cause."


On geophysical, natural and human systems


Environmental research is complex and involves a variety of topics...

Climate Change Indicators

Scientific evidences show the Earth's climate is changing:

  • Global surface temperature is rising;
  • Sea level is rising;
  • Arctic sea ice volume is decreasing;
  • Ocean acidification is increasing;
  • The global water cycle is changing:
    • some areas are experiencing severe and long-term drought;
    • other areas are experiencing increased annual precipitation, flooding, slides.
  • More frequent and severe extreme events are occurring.
    • e.g. heatwaves and heavy precipitation events (Fischer and Knutti 2015).

Anthropogenic Climate Change

"There is a scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming" (Cook et al. 2013).

"Greenhouse gases from human activities (CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs) are the most significant driver of observed Climate Change since the mid-20th century" (IPCC 2013).


“Global warming is happening – and we are the cause” (TheConsensusProject.com)

Sources of human-emitted greenhouse gases include:

  • Coal mining;
  • Burning of fossil fuels (industrial processes, transportation, electricity production);
  • Deforestation;
  • Agriculture (livestock such as cows, agricultural soils, and rice production).

The emission of pollutants (other than greenhouse gases) also produces aerosols which interact with the solar radiation and affect the formation of clouds.

In addition, changes in the way people use land (e.g. forests, farms or cities) can also cause local effects by changing the reflectivity of the Earth's surface and by changing how wet a region is.


  • On geophysical systems (physical impacts);
    • floods, droughts, and sea level rise.
  • On natural and human systems.
    • lives, livelihoods, health, ecosystems, economies, societies, cultures, services, and infrastructure.

[Photo: Bruno Kelly/A Crítica/Agência Estado]

Climate Change Research

Environmental research is complex and involves a variety of topics, such as water, land, biodiversity, pollution, food security.

Climate Change adds to the complexity and enhances the discussion of environmental problems. There is a need for more comprehensive and interdisciplinary studies to aid decision-making and actions needed for the benefit of the planet and society.

In the Brazilian academic field, research groups such as INCLINE have been contributing to the discussion of Climate Change with contributions from many top scientists and universities.