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How Do We Know About Different Forms Of Climate Change?

Climate Central

Georgia Public Broadcasting has partnered with Climate Central to present a series of videos highlighting different forms of climate change around the world. Hosted and narrated by Dr. Heidi Cullen, each video explains how scientists measure and track different indicators of climate change, from biomass burning and ocean acidification to changes in groundwater and sea ice thickness. For more information about Climate Central, please visit

How Do We Know: Drought

Signs of a drought are easy to recognize when the ground cracks, plants shrivel and lake levels plummet. But surviving a drought requires planning and the ability to recognize the markers of the problem before the drought gets severe. So how do we know when a region may be experiencing an early drought? Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Greenland's Melting Ice Sheet

Greenland is covered in so much ice that if it all melted, it would raise sea level around the world by 23 feet. While it's not all melting, scientists say that climate change is turning a lot of that ice to water. But, how do we know? Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Groundwater

Groundwater makes up about 20 percent of the world's fresh water supply. Find out how scientists are tracking the changing groundwater supplies around the world, and what it means for changes in global climate here.

How Do We Know: Hurricane Hunting

Dr. Heidi Cullen delves into the high-tech science of how we're able to predict and monitor potenital hurricanes with National Hurricane Center scientist Jack Beven. Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Ocean Acidification

The atmosphere isn’t the only place carbon dioxide caused by human activity goes. More than a quarter of it is absorbed in the oceans. But how do we know that? And what is its significance? Dr. Heidi Cullen explains here.

How Do We Know: Proof in the Pixels (Biomass Mapping)

The Amazon Rainforest covers about 1.4 billion acres of land in parts of nine different countries. Keeping an accurate and current measurement of the biomass across that much territory is challenging, but critical. Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Salty Seas

Deep, salty ocean currents are especially good at transporting and distributing heat evenly around the globe, but melting fresh water glaciers are changing our seas' salinity which means big things for the global climate system. Dr. Tony Busalacchi is using new technology to monitor salt in the oceans, tracking what changing salinity levels mean for our climate. Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Sea Level Rise

A warming planet could mean that sea levels rise three or more feet by the end of this century. But those increases can seem incremental on a yearly basis, and can be very difficult to measure accurately. Climate Central’s Dr. Heidi Cullen reports on how scientists use a tool in space to keep close track of changes in the oceans here.

How Do We Know: Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice

Dr. Heidi Cullen talks to NASA's Claire Parkinson, who explains the technology used to monitor changes in Arctic sea ice. Long-term tracking shows Arctic sea ice has been on a steady decline, which could have big implications for global temperatures. Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Thinning Sea Ice

White sea ice is essential for reflecting powerful solar radiation away from earth and keeping the poles cool. In the Arctic, the area covered by sea ice is shrinking, and, as it turns out, thinning. This is occurring for many reasons, with manmade climate change and natural variability playing key roles. In this video, NASA scientist Ron Kwok details new technology he is using to monitor how fast the Arctic's sea ice is melting due to warming from below. Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Tracking CO2 Emissions

Scientist David Crisp explains how NASA tracks regional CO2 emissions from space using sophisticated satellite technology. Find out more here.

How Do We Know: Tracking Tornadoes

How do we know when a tornado is forming? Dr. Heidi Cullen talks to NOAA scientist Harold Brooks who explains how Doppler radars are used to track storm formation. Find out more here.