What is climate change?
The world’s climate is changing. There is now strong evidence that man-made emissions, (burning fossil fuels releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous monoxide into the air), are the cause. Since the industrial revolution large quantities of these gases have built up in the atmosphere.
Even if all emissions ceased today, our climate would continue to change as a result of historic emissions. Already, compared to pre-industrial levels, the UK has seen approximately 20cm sea level rise and temperatures are 1 degree higher. How much our climate changes in the future also depends on the success of global emissions reductions. Therefore, cutting carbon emissions remains the most cost-effective step that Government’s, Local Authorities and communities can take, but adaptation needs to be considered alongside, not instead of, mitigation.
For a simple explanation of climate change, see the Gov.uk climate change explained website.