Climate Terminology

Comprehensive glossary of terms and gameplay mechanics used in the game Climate Cooldown

Climate Terminology | Cooldown Cards | Power Cards | Disaster Cards


Cooldown Card | Afforestation is the process of planting trees or establishing a forest on land that has not been forested for a long time or has never been forested. It is a deliberate effort to create a new forest or increase the tree cover on a particular piece of land.


Cooldown Card | Agroforestry is a combination of agriculture and forestry in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This increases biodiversity and also reduces erosion.

Air pollution

Disaster Card | Air pollution is the presence of harmful substances in the air, originating from human activities and natural processes, with detrimental effects on human health, the environment, and climate at high concentrations.

Alternative cement

Cooldown Card | Alternative cements, such as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), often require lower temperatures during production or utilize waste materials like fly ash, blast furnace slag, or rice husk ash. This leads to reduced CO2 emissions, making them more climate-friendly.

Anthropogenic disaster

Climate Terminology | An anthropogenic disaster refers to a catastrophic event or crisis that is primarily caused by human activities, actions, or negligence, rather than by natural processes. These disasters often result from human errors, technological failures, industrial accidents, environmental degradation, or other human-induced factors. Anthropogenic disasters can have severe impacts on human health, safety, ecosystems, economies, and social well-being.

Bamboo Land Sinks

Cooldown Card | “Land sinks" refer to areas of land, such as forests or wetlands, that absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they release, effectively acting as carbon dioxide sinks. These ecosystems play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon and helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions.


Power Card | Biomass is considered a sustainable power source due to its renewable nature, low carbon emissions, waste reduction potential, energy diversity, and its ability to support local economies and communities. It also aids in carbon sequestration, offers conversion flexibility, and promotes a circular economy.


Cooldown Card | Bioremediation is a process used to treat contamination in water, soil and subsurface material.This biodegradation process can either eliminate environmental contaminants or reduce their risks.

Bottom trawling

Disaster Card | Bottom trawling is a fishing method that involves dragging large nets along the seabed to catch fish and other marine species that live near or on the ocean floor. While it can be an efficient way to harvest certain fish species, it poses significant sustainability issues and has detrimental impacts on marine ecosystems.


Disaster Card | By-catch refers to the unintentional capture of non-target species, such as marine mammals (particularly of cetaceans like dolphins, porpoises, and whales), sea turtles, seabirds, and other fish species, in fishing gear intended for specific target species.

Cement manufacturing

Disaster Card | Cement manufacturing releases various air pollutants, including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). These pollutants can contribute to smog formation, respiratory problems, and other negative health effects in nearby communities.

Chill Champ tile

Gameplay Mechanic | The Chill Champ tile is used for an optional mode of the game where all regions can individually add up a score based on the criteria on the back of the Chill Champ tile in order to determine the "Chill Champ" region for the game.

Climate solution

Climate Terminology | A "climate solution" refers to a strategy, initiative, technology, policy, or action aimed at mitigating or adapting to climate change and its impacts. Climate solutions are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate-related hazards, and promote sustainable development practices that contribute to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.


Power Card | Coal is a combustible brownish-black sedimentary rock. It is an unsustainable source of power because it is a finite resource, and burning it releases greenhouse gasses and air pollutants, causing environmental harm and health risks.

Coastal Cleanups

Cooldown Card | Beach cleanups offer a valuable opportunity to minimize litter, safeguard our oceans, and promote awareness about litter and plastic pollution.


Cooldown Card | Composting is the act of collecting and storing plant matter whereby it can decay and be added to soil to improve its quality. When organic matter like plants and fungi decompose, their waste all becomes food in the forest. However, when this waste is buried in landfills from cities, organic waste becomes methane, a greenhouse gas. Composting is a solution for this issue of methane being released from the food and plant matter put in landfills.

Cooldown card

Gameplay Mechanic | A Cooldown card is a climate solution such as "reforestation," "coastal cleanups," or "microgrids" which helps reduce our impact and can even help heal the land and ocean.

Cow burps

Disaster Card | Cow burps contribute to global warming through the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. However, it is not the cows themselves but the livestock industry which needs to be addressed as a contributor to these global emissions.


Disaster Card | A cyclone is a weather phenomenon characterized by a large-scale circulation of winds around a low-pressure center. Cyclones are fueled by warm ocean waters and typically form over tropical or subtropical regions.


Disaster Card | Deforestation, or the clear cutting of forests is often driven by agricultural expansion, illegal logging, mining and urbanization. Forests are essential habitats for life to exist on Earth and so their loss causes a severe impact on the planet.


Climate Terminology | Diplomacy between different regions of the globe is crucial for fostering collaboration and cooperation towards a climate-resilient future because climate change affects every nation regardless of geographic location. Through diplomatic efforts, countries can negotiate agreements, share knowledge, mobilize resources, and coordinate actions to address common climate challenges, mitigate emissions, adapt to changing conditions, and build resilience to climate-related hazards on a global scale.

Diplomacy tile

Gameplay Mechanic | Diplomacy tiles are used to indicate when a region has bought diplomacy with another region. For example, if the NW region buys Diplomacy with the SW region, then the SW region gives the NW region one of their Diplomacy tiles and the NW region places that tile on their region sheet in the SW region Diplomacy tile slot. This tile remains throughout the entire game.

Disaster card

Gameplay Mechanic | Disaster cards are drawn during the "Draw phase" of each round and can affect individual regions as well as the Global meter and even all regions at once.


Climate Terminology | The word "divest" refers to the act of selling off or disposing of assets, investments, or interests in a particular industry, company, or sector. Divestment typically occurs as a strategic decision to remove financial support or association with activities or entities that are deemed unethical, harmful, or inconsistent with certain values or objectives.

Divestment slot

Gameplay Mechanic | There are 4 Divestment slots on the world map game board. One for each region. Once a region divests from an Unsustainable power card type, they place their Unsustainable card or cards onto this slot on the game board.

Draw phase

Gameplay Mechanic | The first portion of each round of the game where all players draw their resource cards, followed by rolling the die to determine order of play, lastly, going in a circle, each region draws a disaster card and takes on its effects.


Disaster Card | During a drought, the lack of water can have significant effects on the environment, agriculture, water supplies, and ecosystems.


Disaster Card | Improperly managed garbage and chemical waste may pollute and contaminate soil on land as well as bodies of water damaging both land and aquatic ecosystems.


Disaster Card | An earthquake is a natural geological phenomenon characterized by the sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. This release of energy is often caused by the movement of tectonic plates, which are large sections of the Earth's crust that float on the semi-fluid asthenosphere beneath them.

Ecological destruction

Climate Terminology | Ecological destruction refers to the severe and often irreversible damage inflicted upon ecosystems due to human activities or natural disasters. It involves the disruption, degradation, or complete loss of the intricate balance and functions of ecosystems, resulting in the loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and ecosystem services.

Electric vehicles

Cooldown Card | Electric vehicles (EVs) are automobiles that are powered by electricity stored in batteries or fuel cells, rather than relying solely on internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel. EVs include road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electric aircraft and electric spacecraft.

End fishing subsidies

Cooldown Card | The global fishing sector is dealing with the complicated issue of how to handle the loss of marine life. In an effort towards preservation of sea life, ending fishing subsidies helps foster a means for the ocean to restore biodiversity and restore life.

Family Planning

Cooldown Card | Family planning refers to the practice of intentionally deciding the number of children a family will have and the timing of their births. It involves using contraception and other reproductive health services to prevent unintended pregnancies and achieve desired family size.


Disaster Card | A famine is an extreme and widespread scarcity of food that leads to a significant number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Famine is often caused by a combination of factors, including severe weather conditions, crop failures, conflict, economic instability, and inadequate distribution of food resources.


Disaster Card | Global warming intensifies the water cycle, causing more evaporation, increased water vapor in the atmosphere, and more frequent intense rainfall, leading to increased flooding.

Fossil Fuel Vehicles

Disaster Card | Burning fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Consequently, this process contributes to the warming of the Earth's atmosphere, leading to a range of environmental issues.


Disaster Card | Fracking is a method used to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations. It involves injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals into the rock to create fractures, which allows the trapped oil and gas to flow more freely to the wellbore and be extracted to the surface.

Game board

Gameplay Mechanic | The main game board includes the world map, the Global and Impact meters, Round meter and Divestment slots.


Power Card | Geothermal energy is a sustainable and renewable power source. It is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Geothermal power plants use the steam or hot water to drive turbines, which in turn generate electricity.

Glacial melt

Disaster Card | Glacial melt happens when ice from glaciers and ice sheets starts to melt due to rising temperatures or other factors. This can lead to rising sea levels, floods, landslides, water scarcity, disruptions to ecosystems, changes in temperature and climate, and disturbances in ocean circulation patterns.

Global emissions

Climate Terminology | "Global emissions" refer to the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into the Earth's atmosphere from human activities on a global scale. These emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), fluorinated gases, and other pollutants generated from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, industrial processes, agriculture, and waste management. Monitoring and reducing global emissions are critical for mitigating climate change, limiting global warming, and transitioning towards a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

Global meter

Gameplay Mechanic | The Global meter shows the players of the game how hot the globe is getting (it is not actual temperature like Celsius or Fahrenheit). If the Global meter reaches 30 at any time, it is game over.

Green cities

Cooldown Card | Green cities aim to reduce their ecological footprint, creating a harmonious balance between urbanization and nature, striving for a more resilient and ecologically conscious urban environment.

Habitat Rejuvenation

Cooldown Card | Habitat rejuvenation is the restoration and enhancement of degraded or damaged ecosystems to improve their ecological health and biodiversity. Healthy and rejuvenated habitats can act as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Hazardous Algae Blooms

Disaster Card | Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), often referred to as "hazardous algae blooms," are excessive and rapid growths of certain types of algae in aquatic ecosystems, such as lakes, rivers, and oceans.


Disaster Card | A hurricane is a powerful and large-scale tropical cyclone characterized by a rotating system of thunderstorms, strong winds, and heavy rainfall. It forms over warm ocean waters, typically in the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean.


Power Card | Hydroelectric power refers to the generation of electricity using the energy of flowing or falling water. It is a renewable and clean energy source, however, the use of hydro can still come with some major environmental concerns.


Climate Terminology | The term "impact" in the context of global warming from human-related activities refers to the observable and measurable effects that human actions have on the Earth's climate system. These impacts include the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) from activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, agriculture, and industrial processes.

Impact meter

Gameplay Mechanic | The Impact meter shows the collective impact from all regions of the globe. It starts at 15, can go up to 20 and must be brought down into the negatives in order to lower the Global meter and win the game.

Impact phase

Gameplay Mechanic | The final portion of each round where all regions check for food cards wasted, take the total of the Impact Meter and add it to the Global Meter, and lastly check to make sure all of the Land and Ocean requirements were met for the current round.

Indigenous land stewardship

Cooldown Card | Indigenous Land Stewardship means supporting and improving Native control of and access to ancestral lands and resources to ensure the sustainable, economic, spiritual and cultural well-being of Native communities. This helps us to protect ecosystems and prevent emissions from deforestation.


Cooldown Card | Insulation helps reduce energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, conserve resources, and enhance overall comfort and well-being. By prioritizing insulation in buildings, communities can make significant strides towards achieving a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future.


Climate Terminology | The word "invest" typically refers to the allocation of resources, such as money, time, or effort, into something with the expectation of achieving a positive return or benefit in the future. Investing involves committing resources now in the anticipation of generating income, appreciation, or other forms of value over time.

Land token

Gameplay Mechanic | The Land token represents a completed Cooldown card such as "reforestation" which is then placed on the "L" slots on the world map.

LED lighting

Cooldown Card | LED lighting provides high energy efficiency, long lifespan, reduced waste, and mercury-free composition. Its instant on/off feature, directional lighting, and compatibility with renewable energy sources make it an eco-friendly option that reduces carbon footprint and promotes energy conservation.

Mass Transit

Cooldown Card | Mass transit, or public transportation, contributes to a more sustainable transportation system by reducing emissions, improving air quality, conserving energy and resources, alleviating traffic congestion, and fostering sustainable urban development.

Material Extraction

Disaster Card | The metal mining process of materials extraction has causes of environmental concerns. It's also the human and environmental price we’re willing to pay for a future of wind turbines, solar panels, energy-efficient buildings, and electric vehicles.

Meter token

Gameplay Mechanic | The 2 Meter tokens are used for the Global and Impact meters to signify the increase and decrease of both meters.


Cooldown Card | Microgrids are sustainable solutions that integrate renewable energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote energy efficiency by minimizing transmission and distribution losses.

Natural disaster

Climate Terminology | A natural disaster refers to a catastrophic event caused by natural processes of the Earth, which results in widespread destruction, loss of life, and disruption of human activities. These events can occur suddenly or develop over time, and they often have significant impacts on communities, economies, and ecosystems. Natural disasters are typically classified into several categories based on their underlying causes and characteristics.

Natural Gas

Power Card | Natural gas is a fossil fuel that consists mainly of methane and some other hydrocarbons. It is commonly used as a source of energy for electricity generation, heating, and industrial processes. Natural gas is considered an unsustainable power source.

Next-Gen Nuclear

Power Card | Next-gen nuclear refers to the next generation of nuclear power technologies that aim to address some of the challenges associated with traditional nuclear power plants.

No-catch Fishing Reserves

Cooldown Card | "No-catch" fishing zones help to prevent the global issue of overfishing by allowing for certain areas of bodies of water to be deemed illegal to fish in. By limiting places countries can fish in, we allow for populations of sea life to be restored.

Nuclear Fallout

Disaster Card | Nuclear fallout refers to the release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere after a nuclear accident, such as a nuclear power plant meltdown. Exposure to nuclear fallout can pose significant health risks due to the ionizing radiation emitted by the radioactive materials.

Ocean Cleanup

Cooldown Card | The Ocean Cleanup is a team that helps reduce the amount of waste pollution in the oceans by removing it with an advanced weighted netting system.

Ocean token

Gameplay Mechanic | The Ocean token represents a completed Cooldown card such as "seaforestation" which is then placed on the "O" slots on the world map.

Ocean Transport

Disaster Card | Ocean transport poses several sustainability challenges due to its carbon emissions, air pollution, ballast water, oil spills, marine pollution, noise pollution, waste disposal, overfishing, inefficient shipping routes, labor issues, and light disturbances.

Old-Gen Nuclear

Power Card | Nuclear energy is efficient and carbon-free. Though potentially renewable, the modern Uranium used in older reactors poses mining challenges and will deplete over time.


Cooldown Card | Permaculture is a design system and philosophy that aims to create sustainable and regenerative human habitats while harmonizing with the natural environment. The term "permaculture" combines the words "permanent" and "agriculture" or "culture" to signify its focus on long-term sustainability and ecological principles.


Power Card | Petroleum is a yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. The burning of petroleum as fuel releases toxic gases and carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming and ocean acidification.

Plant Rich Diet

Cooldown Card | A plant-rich diet has a lower environmental footprint, requires fewer resources such as land and water, helps protect biodiversity, conserves resources, and contributes to global food security by utilizing resources more efficiently and improving food availability.

Plastic Free

Cooldown Card | Reducing our impact on the ecosystem is just as crucial as addressing existing environmental damage. It involves minimizing the use of harmful substances like plastic and adopting sustainable alternatives.

Plastic Pollution

Disaster Card | The increasing production of disposable plastic products has created a critical environmental concern: plastic pollution. As the world grapples with the growing volume of plastic waste, its exposure to the elements also leads to greenhouse gas emissions.

Play phase

Gameplay Mechanic | The second portion of each round where all regions take turns going in a circle using their resource cards to make plays until they run out of resources to spend.

Power card

Gameplay Mechanic | A Power card is always one of 2 types: Sustainable (like "solar" or "wind"), and Unsustainable (like "coal" or "petroleum").


Cooldown Card | The great forests that have long existed on the Earth draw in huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Proforestation is protecting the forests there still are, encouraging them to continue to heal and grow.

Radioactive Leakage

Disaster Card | Radioactive high-level waste (HLW) from leftover nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons productions of the past are held in tank farms that are still at risk of leaking into the environment.


Cooldown Card | Recycling is a sustainable solution that conserves resources, reduces energy consumption, diverts waste from landfills, lowers emissions, supports a circular economy, creates jobs, promotes sustainable practices, engages communities, and ensures long-term resource sustainability.

Reduce Food Waste

Cooldown Card | Approximately one-third of the global food supply goes unconsumed. By minimizing losses and waste, we have the power to diminish the demand for land and resources dedicated to food production, while also mitigating the emission of greenhouse gasses during the entire process.


Cooldown Card | Reforestation is the planting of trees where used to be forest. It can be used to reverse the effects of deforestation or improve the quality of human life by facilitating biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Refrigerant Management

Cooldown Card | The most common refrigerants used in HVAC/R equipment today have ozone-depleting and/or high global warming properties. These refrigerants must be properly handled!

Regenerative Agriculture

Cooldown Card | Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming and land management that focuses on improving and revitalizing the health of ecosystems, soil, and biodiversity.

Region sheet

Gameplay Mechanic | There are 4 region sheets in the game. If there are more than 4 players, multiple players can team up playing a single region together. For example, if you had 12 people playing the game, each region would have 3 players.

Requirements sheet

Gameplay Mechanic | The Requirements to Win sheet illustrates the 4 requirements there are to win as well as the Land Restoration and Ocean Health requirements for each round of gameplay.


Climate Terminology | In the context of the game; energy, water, and food, are "resources" which are essential elements necessary for human survival, societal development, and economic activity. These resources are vital for meeting basic human needs, sustaining ecosystems, supporting agricultural production, powering industries, and ensuring access to clean water, nutritious food, and reliable energy sources for communities around the world. Managing and conserving these resources efficiently and sustainably is crucial for promoting environmental stewardship, resilience, and equitable access to vital resources for current and future generations.

Resource card

Gameplay Mechanic | There are 3 types of resource cards: Energy, Water, and Food. Each region starts with a specific amount of each resource and may use them to buy Cooldown cards, Power cards, Diplomacy tiles and to divest from Unsustainable power cards throughout the game. Resource cards are also able to be traded between regions 1 for 1.

Resource token

Gameplay Mechanic | Resource tokens represent either an increase or decrease of a given resource and are placed on the bottom of each region sheet when acquired.

Round meter

Gameplay Mechanic | The Round meter shows which round of play the game is currently in.

Round token

Gameplay Mechanic | The Round token is used to show which round of the game it is. Move it forward at the end of each round.

Routine Flaring

Disaster Card | Routine flaring is a widely employed global practice during crude oil extraction where significant amounts of unused or unwanted "associated petroleum gas" (APG) are disposed of.


Cooldown Card | Seaforestation is the process of restoring and enhancing coastal and marine ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes, as a means to combat climate change and preserve biodiversity.

Single-use Plastics Ban

Cooldown Card | A single-use plastics ban contributes to a cleaner environment, healthier ecosystems, reduced waste, and a more sustainable future for both the planet and future generations.


Power Card | The conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Solar power is a renewable energy.

Sustainable power

Climate Terminology | Sustainable power, also known as sustainable energy or renewable energy, refers to energy sources and technologies that can be utilized to meet current energy needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own energy needs. Sustainable power is derived from sources that are naturally replenished and have minimal environmental impact compared to traditional fossil fuels.

Tidal Energy

Power Card | Tidal power is a form of renewable energy that harnesses the kinetic energy of ocean tides to generate electricity. It takes advantage of the natural rise and fall of ocean tides caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on Earth's water bodies.


Disaster Card | A typhoon is a type of tropical cyclone, commonly referred to as a hurricane or cyclone in other parts of the world. It is a powerful and intense storm system that forms over warm ocean waters in tropical and subtropical regions.

Universal Education

Cooldown Card | By promoting universal education, societies can create a more informed, engaged, and empowered population that is capable of addressing the challenges posed by climate change and working towards a sustainable future for the planet.

Unsustainable power

Climate Terminology | Unsustainable power refers to energy sources and practices that are not environmentally, socially, or economically viable in the long term. These energy sources and practices contribute to environmental degradation, resource depletion, social inequalities, and economic instability.

Vertical Farming

Cooldown Card | Vertical farming is a modern agriculture method where crops are grown in stacked layers, aiming to optimize space and resources while reducing environmental impact.

Virus outbreak

Disaster Card | A virus outbreak refers to the sudden increase in the number of cases of a particular viral disease in a specific geographic area, community, or population. It indicates a higher-than-normal incidence of the disease and may be localized or spread over a larger region.

Volcanic eruption

Disaster Card | A "volcanic eruption" is a natural phenomenon where molten rock, ash, and gasses are expelled from a volcano's vent onto the Earth's surface or into the atmosphere. During a volcanic eruption, various greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere.

Water pollution

Disaster Card | Water pollution poses significant risks to the environment, human health, and economic activities. It disrupts the balance of marine and freshwater ecosystems, leading to declines in fish and plant populations, loss of biodiversity, and the destruction of critical habitats.


Power Card | Wave power is a sustainable and renewable energy. Wave power is the capture of energy of wind waves to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or pumping water.


Disaster Card | A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire that burns in natural areas such as forests or fields. Although wildfires are naturally occurring and essential to some plant species, the rise in global temperature can cause more frequent and expansive fires which can endanger ecosystems.


Power Card | Wind power is a sustainable and renewable energy. Presently, wind power is almost entirely generated with wind turbines, generally grouped into wind farms and connected to the electrical grid.