Experts are warning that unless urgent action is taken to halt the damage to our ecosystem, caused by human factors, it could become a bigger threat to life than any disease outbreak.
Here are the basics.....
WHAT IS CLIMATE?
Weather is what's happening above us now.Climate is what's happened - or what will happen - over a longer period of time (normally 30 year blocks) and often on a larger scale.
And, very much like the change you have in your pocket today compared to your annual bank balance - the two can tell a very different story.
Climate is like the annual bank balance - it's looking at the 'bigger picture' and it's that bigger picture that allows climatologists to really see what's going on.
HOW IS IT CLIMATE CHANGING?
We can now see, very clearly, through our 100 year old history books, that over the last few decades the world has been warming up - like never before - and it's the rate a which it is warming, and the extent to which it's warming, that is the most alarming.
It is also possible - by looking at fossils, river sediment, oxygen trapped in the ice core, tree rings - to go much further back than this.
In Earth's 4.6 billion year history the closest we've ever got to what we're experiencing now was 3-5 million years ago - when the world was a very different place!
WHAT DOES A WARMER CLIMATE BRING?
Essentially a warmer world can hold more moisture - meaning warmer seas, higher sea levels and more intense rainfall.
The Met Office and WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) only this month confirmed their findings on "The Global State of the Climate". This clarified what many already expected, and what many of us are already experiencing.
A warming world has a direct effect on global climate, int turn changing weather patterns across the planet.
And we are now seeing how extreme weather can affect us at a local level
The future forecasts predict....
More frequent 'hot spells'(we've already had the Summer 2018, more frequent heatwaves in 2019 and our hottest ever day)Mild winters(frost free for some parts of the NW this Winter)Intense rainfall (3.5 times the average this Feb)
Year on year we are breaking records.What was once extreme becomes the new normal.And to what extent this continues is how much further the planet warms!
WHY IS IT WARMING?
Also on the rise - Greenhouse Gases.There is direct correlation between the rise in c02 and Global Warming.
Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2019.
The only scientific explanation for the continued rise is that human activity is acting as an 'extra level of warming' - a blanket over Planet earth if you like
We can make this into a positive though - we cannot change the natural factors, but we have the ability to change the human ones