Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation! Here are some facts and figures on why we have to act now.
What is ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’?
Terms like ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ are often used interchangeably to refer to an increase in the Earth’s average temperature over the past century.
To some extent, the Earth’s climate has always been in flux. Variations in solar activity, sun-earth geometry and volcanic eruptions are all ‘natural’ processes that can shape the Earth’s climate. For example, if someone were to travel 800 million years back in time, the Earth would look and feel completely different than it does today. At that time, most of the Earth’s surface would have been covered in glaciers and large ice sheets.
However, over the past century there has been a very noticeable and rapid increase in the Earth’s average temperature. Scientists from around the globe agree that human activity is the cause of this warming. The burning of fossil fuels and changes in land-use patterns (i.e. deforestation) have led to a large concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases interfere with natural processes by trapping significant amounts solar radiation (heat) that is emitted from the Earth’s surface—heat that would otherwise be emitted into space.
The Earth’s atmosphere today contains about 32 percent more carbon dioxide than it did at the start of the industrial revolution. Consequently, the global average temperature has risen by 0.6 degrees Celsius since 1900.
What are its effects?
Why is Copenhagen important?
What can I do about it?
Where can i find more information?