Cities are suing oil companies to pay for climate damages. The suit’s judge wants to understand the science first.

Here are answers to eight questions the judge wants to address during a climate science tutorial.

Nine cities across the United States, including New York and San Francisco, have taken the bold step of filing lawsuits against oil companies for damages stemming from climate change, arguing that sea level rise and increasing heat waves are already posing a threat.

Unlike previous cases where climate change has gone to court, the science itself isn’t on trial. In fact, the oil companies...

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