What is Climate Change?

flood measureClimate change is the most significant environmental threat facing the world today.  There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the world’s climate is already changing and it is very likely that most of the warming is attributable to human activities.
A range of observations and studies strongly suggest the climate system is warming in response to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The climate change headlines are:

  • global average temperatures have increased by about 0.8°C since pre-industrial times, and the ten warmest years on record so far have occurred since 1995;
  • atmospheric humidity, sea level and ocean heat content have all increased; and
  • Arctic sea ice, northern snow cover and glaciers have decreased.

Scientists have been unable to explain these changes by natural factors alone. 
Adaptation involves responding to the unavoidable consequences of climate change, to which the world is already committed and likely to mean higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, altered seasons, and more extreme weather events.