How do we measure climate change?

Several methods can be used to observe climate and climate change. Today’s scientists use sophisticated instruments and satellites to measure climate parameters. We can also look back through time by studying ice cores and sediment cores that provide indirect evidence about past temperatures and other climate conditions. Climate change is measured both globally and regionally.

The most common climate observations are of temperature and precipitation. Other climate variables include humidity, wind speed and direction, air pressure, cloud cover and solar radiation.

In polar regions, observed changes in sea ice, snow cover and glaciers also tell us what is happening with the climate.