Millions of people already suffer from the disastrous effects caused by climate change. Understanding what it is can help us all work towards a better future.
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What is Climate Change?

Climate change is the constant change in weather patterns over thousands of years. These natural cycles cause changes in the usual seasonal weather.

What most people think of as Climate Change is actually Man-made climate change. This is causing major changes to weather patterns over 100 or 200 years.

You can find more information on the Met Office website.

What Causes Climate Change?

Climate Change is happening because global temperatures are increasing. We call this global warming. 

Global warming is the result of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

A lot of human activities give off greenhouse gases. The biggest activity is burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases (like Carbon Dioxide) prevent heat from escaping Earth's atmosphere into space. When heat can escape the atmosphere, the Earth stays cool enough to allow liquid water to exist. Liquid water allows life to survive.

Too hot or too cold and there is less drinkable water reduces. Less drinkable water means plants and animals on land find it harder to survive. This includes humans.

In the last 250 years, humans have doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Why are global warming and climate change bad?

Climate change and global warming will have serious effects if we do nothing.

Increased heat waves and droughts

  • Soil erosion
  • Poor farming output
  • Danger to human health
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Reduced freshwater availability
  • Animals moving to cooler areas
  • The major ecological collapse of the warmest regions
  • Increased bushfires

This will result in

  • Lower harvest
  • Increase global food prices
  • Increased starvation and poverty
  • Tropical diseases moving to less tropical areas
  • Less diverse habitats
  • Higher rate of extinction

Irregular rains and more flash floods

  • Poor farming output
  • Danger to human life
  • Infrastructure damage and sewage breaches

This will result in

  • Lower harvests
  • Increased waterborne diseases

Sea level rises from melted ice caps

  • Coastal flooding
  • Coastal erosion
  • Infrastructure damage

This will result in

  • Humans and animals moving further inland
  • Reduced land being available
  • Competition for developed and farming land
  • Increased property prices