The effects of climate change: a guide to dealing with a global challenge

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
A landscape
Author: Sandra Pérez (foto: Manuel Torres García -

A multidisciplinary approach to climate change: health sciences, law, economics and the arts.

A variety of content: videos, infographics, articles, books and websites to help you understand the environmental crisis.

Global temperatures will reach record levels in the next five years, fuelled by greenhouse gases that result from human activity and the natural phenomenon of El Niño. This is one of the predictions in the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update. To help you better understand the climate emergency and learn about initiatives to mitigate it, staff at the Library have prepared a Climate change library guide, a selection of contents offering an interdisciplinary look at the subject.

The library guide has been prepared to mark World Environment Day, a date celebrated every year on 5 June to raise awareness and promote action to address environmental issues.

What will you find in it?

A curated selection of resources on climate change from different fields of study:

  • Environmental education at different educational stages. 
  • The effects of climate change on people's health
  • Legislation and international agreements that address the environmental crisis.
  • Forms of cultural expression and artistic initiatives for climate action. 
  • International initiatives to slow down the effects of climate change.
  • Social movements such as ecofeminism.
  • The relationship between the climate crisis and migration.
  • The uneven impact of climate change in different regions of the world.


Understanding climate change

Climate change refers to long-term changes in the temperature and climate of the planet. As defined by the United Nations (UN), these changes have occurred naturally over centuries, but have been exacerbated by human activity, especially since the age of industrialization. Actions such as the burning of fossil fuels and agricultural deforestation have contributed to this phenomenon.

This library guide explains key concepts such as the greenhouse effect, carbon footprint and global warming, and provides data, graphs and publications to keep you informed. It includes an interactive infographic from Lancet Countdown, an organization that monitors the evolution of climate change.

Green economy

To counteract the effects of climate change, economic approaches are emerging that integrate the social dimension and the conservation of ecosystems. Alternative ways of financing projects, activities and companies that promote environmental sustainability are also appearing.

Visit a selection of resources that explain environmental economics, the circular economy, green finance and ecotourism. One of them is a learning resource produced by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) on the emergence and evolution of the green economy. 

Regulatory framework

Staying informed about climate change also means being aware of the regulatory framework and commitments at national and international level to secure a sustainable future for the next generations.

Review the laws in force in Spain, the European Union and other countries, as well as international agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

Education for change

Education also plays a key role in this fight to educate future generations about the effects of climate change and the importance of taking action.

The library guide includes a section with talks, essays, articles and studies on the subject, categorized according to educational stage. There is, for example, a guide to key concepts on climate change for children, and a book with case studies for integrating environmental education in universities.

Art and climate change

Artists from all over the world have used their talents to highlight this issue and inspire the public to take action.

Learn how artists have depicted climate throughout history and the role of artistic and creative practices in raising awareness and mitigating climate change. You will find a collection of free illustrations related to the topic.  

Five documentaries to celebrate World Environment Day

On the blog of the UOC's Faculty of Health Sciences, Cristina O'Callaghan-Gordo, director of the Joint Master's Degree in Planetary Health (UOC, UPF, ISGlobal), shares five recommendations for films and documentaries on planetary health and the environment.

Demain and Before the Flood are available in the Library.

The library guide on climate change aims to raise awareness of Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.