The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that global surface temperatures stayed at or near record-warm levels throughout 2015. It may turn out to be the warmest year on record. ©Eric Rock

Which was the hottest month on record? Would it surprise you to know that—dating back to January 1880—it was July 2015? September 2015 was the warmest of all previous Septembers on record, and 2015 is likely to beat 2014 as the hottest year we’ve ever documented.

All of these facts are certainly on the minds of the world leaders participating in the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, currently being held in Paris, France. So when I saw this timely climate change quiz in The Guardian, I thought you might want to test your knowledge on what could be the biggest issue facing us today.

However, since I consider readers of Good Nature Travel to be far more versed on environmental issues than the average person, I think you need something a little more challenging. So, I designed a climate change quiz especially for you. You’ll find it below.

Rapid climate change is making hot days hotter, rainfall and flooding heavier, and droughts more severe. ‬‬‬‬‬©John Fowler, flickr

See if you can correctly answer the following eight questions. The answers have appeared in articles on climate change that have been published in this blog within the past 13 months. (To grade yourself, click on the link below each question to access the article within which the answer is found.)

Take the quiz, and then prove me right about the high level of your climate change aptitude by letting me know how you did in the comments section!

A Good Nature Travel Reader’s Climate Change Quiz

1. Scientists say that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere need to remain under 450 parts per million by 2100. Anything higher would change the climate so dramatically that neither humans nor ecosystems could easily adapt. In what year did we pass 400 parts per million for the first time?

a. 2011
b. 2013
c. 2015

To find the answer, see “New UN Report on Climate Change: Only 50 PPM of Greenhouse Gases Now Stands between Us and Disaster.”

In the 1940s, the U.S. imported about half of its wheat. But after using Green Revolution technologies, our nation became an exporter by the 1960s. ©Brad Higham, flickr

2. The Green Revolution technologies of the 1950s and 1960s—such as improved irrigation, increased use of manufactured fertilizer and higher-yield crop strains—significantly increased the amount of calories produced per agricultural acre. But in the last 50 years, by what percentage have they boosted a mid- to late-fall rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide?

a. 7 percent
b. 10 percent
c. 15 percent

To find the answer, see “When Going Green Isn’t Good: Climate Change and the Green Revolution.”


It’s hypothesized that we have “finite pools of worry.” Some believe that there’s not enough room in the water for everything that stresses us.

3. Why do people find it hard to accept climate change facts?

a. An optimism bias: The effects of rapid climate change seem to be something that will happen far in the future. People think climate change will harm future generations and not them personally.
b. A confirmation bias: People tend to cherry-pick evidence that supports their existing beliefs.
c. Social conformity: People have a need to feel they are part of a group. They therefore view the world through “frames,” such as politics, religion or economic philosophy. Socially, it’s important to us to adopt the views of the group to remain part of it.
d. People have a finite “pool of worry,” and climate change isn’t allowed in the water.
e. All of the above.

To find the answers, see “Cli-Psy: Why We Find It So Hard to Accept Climate Change Facts.”

The West Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming areas on Earth. ©Ted Martens

4. During a soil survey conducted on the Antarctic Peninsula in the 1960s, researchers only had to dig about 16 inches into the soil before hitting hard permafrost. In 2011, they repeated the experiment. That year, how much farther did they have to dig before hitting permafrost?

a. two times deeper
b. four times deeper
c. eight times deeper

To find the answer, see “Climate Change: Political Science vs. Soil Science.”

To reduce methane emissions, some propose changing the diet of livestock from corn to flaxseed, which mimics the natural grasses cows evolved to eat. ©Peter O’Connor, flickr

5. According to a 2009 Worldwatch study, the life cycle and supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food (buffalo, camels, cattle, goats, horses, pigs, poultry and sheep) has been vastly underestimated as a source of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, it accounts for what percent annually?

a. 23 percent
b. 42 percent
c. 51 percent

To find the answer, see “Going Vegan: Best Way to Combat Rapid Climate Change?” 


Was it Florida, Montana or Wisconsin that banned the use of the phrase “climate change”?

6. In March 2015, what state shined a spotlight on the power of words when it was reported that it had banned the use of the phrase “climate change” in official statements and publications?

a. Florida
b. Montana
c. Wisconsin

To find the answer, see “Fearing Climate Change: the Fact and the Phrase.”


You can’t rope yourself off from the air you breathe or the Earth’s climate.

7. In April 2015 during a talk at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke about a new climate change communication strategy that would link the rapid warming of our planet with personal health. Which of those three said “you can’t cordon yourself off from the air or climate”?

a. President Barack Obama
b. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy
c. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

To find the answer, see “Linking Climate Change to Personal Health: Game Changer?”

Research indicates that climate change will cause hurricanes and tropical storms to become more intense. ©U.S. Geological Survey

8. What climate-related event contributed to the conflict in Syria?

a. 2007−2010 drought
b. a 2008 flash flood
c. an unprecedented sandstorm in 2015

To find the answer, see “The Climate Change Link to the Syrian War.

Good luck!

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,