Is it too late to stop climate change?

Weather Presenter Ross Hutchinson explorers if climate change is irreversible and is it possible for us to stop it

Our climate has already changed because of human activity and it is too late to reverse many of the impacts we are already experiencing. But there is still time to reduce or even stop future impacts.

We can still act to slow our changing climate and to avoid or limit some of the worst effects. Our actions today will have huge consequences for the future of life on our planet.

Dry land due to rising global temperatures Credit: ITV Weather

According to NASA scientists, if we immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases global temperatures would stop rising within a few years.

It is thought they would then remain at that level for centuries, rather than dropping down to pre-industrialised levels. It means many actions we take today will be for future generations.

Children strike for action on climate change

We, therefore, need to learn to adapt to our changing climate and limit how much further we allow temperatures to rise.

Here in the UK, records from the Met Office show the temperature has already warmed by 1°C since the 1950s.

Credit: Jan Baker

The temperature increase can be observed in many ways:

  • Increased temperature in coastal seas around the UK

  • Less frost and snow

  • Longer and more frequent warm and hot spells

  • Shorter and less frequent cold spells

  • Breaking many high temperature records

At our current rate the Met Office predicts that, compared to our climate in 1990, by 2070 we will be seeing:

  • Winters a between 1 and 4.5°C warmer

  • Winters up to 30% wetter

  • Summers between 1 and 6°C warmer

  • Summers up to 60% drier, depending on the region

  • Hot summer days between 4 and 7°C warmer

All these changes would see increasingly difficult living conditions in many parts of the world. So although we cannot undo what we have seen so far - we need to act to stop further extreme changes in our climate.

You can see some of the ways you can help here.