Take the Climate Quiz

Do you know how climate works? Here are some questions to test your climate knowledge.

Rain, visualized as neat columns of circles, falls from a cloud onto and around an umbrella.
1

In some parts of the world, rainstorms have become more intense over the past several decades. Is that a change in weather or climate?

 

WEATHER

 

CLIMATE

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Correct!

ANSWER: CLIMATE

The trend of more intense rainstorms in certain locations is a sign of a changing climate. One heavy rainstorm is a weather event. But the trend of more intense rainstorms is a sign of a changing climate.

Question 1 of 7
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Visualization of Earth from space with shapes representing methane (one circle surrounded by four circles) and nitrogen (two joined circles) above.
2

Which of these atmospheric gases traps heat as part of the greenhouse effect?

 

METHANE

 

NITROGEN

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Correct!

ANSWER: METHANE

Carbon dioxide is perhaps the most famous greenhouse gas. But methane also traps heat in the atmosphere. Nitrogen makes up 80% of Earth’s atmosphere but is not a greenhouse gas.

Question 2 of 7
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3

Without the natural greenhouse effect, Earth’s temperature would be well below freezing. Is this true or false?

 

TRUE

 

FALSE

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a standing polar bear
Correct!

ANSWER: TRUE

Without the natural greenhouse effect, the average global temperature would be around -18°C (0°F).

Question 3 of 7
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Seven blurred, light-colored circles floating against dark background.
4

How much carbon dioxide does the average American add to the atmosphere each year?

 

16 metric tons

 

6 metric tons

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Correct!

ANSWER: 16 metric tons

The average American produces around 16 metric tons of CO₂ annually. That's enough to fill 192 shipping containers!

Visualization of 192 shipping containers stacked on top of each other in columns.
Question 4 of 7
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5

In the US, which activity contributes more to carbon dioxide emissions?

a factory with smokestacks and a house with lights on

producing electricity and heat

a car, truck and airplane

using transportation

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Correct!

ANSWER: using transportation

Transportation causes more CO₂ emissions in the US—but just barely. In 2016, 35% of US CO₂ emissions came from the generation of electricity and heat; 36% from transportation.

a car, truck and airplane
Question 5 of 7
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6

When you hear it’s unusually hot today, is that about the climate or weather?

 

CLIMATE

 

WEATHER

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Visualization of melting ice cream cone.
Correct!

ANSWER: WEATHER

Whether it’s hot or cold, or sunny or rainy today is a reflection of daily weather conditions—not climate.

Question 6 of 7
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7

The ocean affects Earth’s climate. Is this true or false?

 

TRUE

 

FALSE

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Correct!

ANSWER: TRUE

The ocean stores vast amounts of heat and carbon, which it exchanges with the atmosphere to impact climate.

Visualization of ocean surface with two brightly colored arrows indicating circular process by which ocean exchanges heat and carbon with atmosphere.
Question 7 of 7
You got out of 7 right on the first guess.
Image Credits:
Space view of Earth's atmosphere, Daniel Olah on Unsplash; Car, plane, and truck, ©Shutterstock.