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What is Climate Change? Facts and Tips You Should Know

Climate change – presidential candidates discuss it, and your Aunt Margaret likes to debate it with Uncle William at the family Labor Day picnic, but do you understand what it is? If not, you are in good company.

According to a 2010 Yale research project, only 1 in 10 Americans indicated they were “very well informed” on the topic of climate change. But you’re in luck!

We’ve put together this primer on the fundamentals of climate change to provide you with a better understanding of the subject.

Definition of Climate Change

To begin, it is important to be familiar with three key concepts:

  1. Weather is what we see outside our window every day.

  2. Climate is the average weather in an area over time.

  3. Climate change is the consistent difference in weather trends over many years.

Climate scientists have noticed differences in the recent warming weather trends which contrast with long-term climate trends. For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, all of the top 10 warmest years on record worldwide have occurred since 1998. Within the United States, temperatures in parts of the North, the West, and Alaska have increased the most.

Effects of Climate Change on the US Postal Service

Understanding climate change can help us prepare for its impacts including warmer weather, more intense storms, and heavy precipitation. We have more than 600,000 employees that are part of communities across the nation, so it’s important to understand how climate change can affect our families and neighborhoods. Taking steps to prepare for climate change, such as ensuring air conditioning functionality and proper hydration during warm weather can help USPS employees and customers stay safe.

The National Climate Assessment, a report compiled by a team of more than 300 experts, summarizes the impacts of climate change in the United States and can provide you with a deeper understanding of this issue. Armed with these facts, you will not only expand your knowledge on climate change, but you will also be the star of the discussion with Aunt Margaret and Uncle William at your next family gathering.


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