The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency page on Causes of Climate Change describes earth’s climate system and the processes that drive it: the way energy from the sun moves in and out of the atmosphere and the way heat moves around the atmosphere and the oceans. When energy from the sun, the main driver of our climate system, reaches the atmosphere, some is absorbed and some is reflected, mainly from clouds. Most of the remaining energy heats the earth’s surface, which loses its heat again through rising air currents, radiation and the evaporation of water. (Source: US EPA. "Causes of Climate Change" Last accessed 11/30/2016.)
Climate is defined as the weather conditions prevailing in a given region over time. This video provides a brief overview of what determines climate and serves as an introduction to understanding climate change. (Source: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Climate Change--Lines of Evidence, Last accessed 11/10/2016.).
All living things are made of carbon. This video describes the carbon cycle, the series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment, chiefly involving the incorporation of carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, the decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels. The global carbon cycle is the process by which carbon is exchanged between the atmosphere, vegetation, soils, organic matter, the ocean, and fossil fuels. Human activity converts the carbon in fossil fuels and other sources into CO2 in the atmosphere, which leads to an increase in CO2 concentration and a warming effect on the earth. (Source: University of Toledo's Center for Creative Instruction: The Carbon Cycle. Last accessed 11/10/2016.)
Founding Fathers of the Global Warming Debate
This Smithsonian article describes the evolving scientific thought that has shaped the global warming debate. (Source: Earth Report, Last accessed 11/10/2016.)