Catholics in the United States are "excited" and "pleased" with the "hopeful" document, though some doubt much will change.
If anything about the account presented in Laudato Si' is off, it is that Francis takes an "overly conservative" approach, a meteorologist says.
Laudato Si' embraces what Francis calls a "very solid scientific consensus" that humans are causing cataclysmic climate change endangering the planet.
A leaked version of Laudato Si' also shows a reorientation of the church's understanding of the human person.
Eco Catholic: A new survey by Pew Research Center shows that U.S. Catholics are slightly ahead of the curve compared to the general public regarding climate change.
Even before the papal encyclical on the climate crisis appears, it is having an effect in religious communities beyond the Catholic church. More than 300 rabbis have signed a rabbinic letter on the climate crisis, calling for vigorous action to prevent worsening climate disruption and to seek "eco-social justice."
Eco Catholic: It's no secret: Americans are conflicted on climate change. What explains this disconnect on climate?
Faith and Justice: Pope Francis is the first pope in history to have a scientific education. He has more scientific training than most of his critics.
Eco Catholic: Climate change deniers are increasingly running into true believers in big business and the Pentagon.
Will Pope Francis be preaching to the choir on climate change when he releases his ecology-focused encyclical later this year?
A new study released Thursday by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that Catholics are more convinced than other Christians that global warming is occurring and are more supportive of policy action.