If students are to understand climate change, they have to understand the fundamentals of the greenhouse effect. Specifically, they need to know:
- What the greenhouse effect is.
- The role of certain trace gases in trapping heat.
- The role of water vapor and that it is the most abundant but not necessarily the most important greenhouse gas.
- The most important greenhouse gases—CO2 and methane.
- That natural processes cannot explain recent changes in the Earth's climate.