Climate Change

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Climate change is not new to the Smithsonian—our scholars have investigated the effects of the climate on natural systems for over 175 years. We look at processes that occurred millions of years ago alongside developments taking place today.

The Smithsonian is tackling climate change from multiple angles. The Institution is working with global partners to unravel the causes and consequences of climate change, it is elevating the public discussion around the issue, and it is implementing strategies to protect its own facilities and collections from future climate change impacts.

Through its “Our Shared Future: Life on a Sustainable Planet” initiative, the Smithsonian works to inspire lifelong learning and leverage our vast collections, museums, education, and research to foster a deep appreciation for science, technology, innovation, and culture. Life on a Sustainable Planet is part of the Smithsonian’s commitment to working with all communities to promote equitable, sustainable, and resilient solutions to build a more sustainable future for all.

Impacts and Solutions

What are some of the impacts of climate change? They include a warmer and more acidic ocean, increased wildfire events, shifting ranges of key species, and more. Our Smithsonian climate change research efforts aim to better understand the impacts of climate change, raise awareness, and contribute to the global effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

What Can I Do?

Climate change is a global problem and we need global solutions. But changes made at an individual level can still help. Despite the challenges we face, scientists and educators at the Smithsonian cannot help but feel optimistic that together we can affect positive change by building and sharing knowledge and fostering community engagement. Look for ongoing Earth Optimism events and join us in the effort to curb climate change.