What you need to know
On this page you will find a collection of links to videos, articles and other websites that help you find out all you need to know about climate change.
The Causes of Climate Change
The causes of climate change is largely due to the emission of greenhouse gases by humans, coupled with the destruction of parts of nature that absorb these gases. Greenhouse gases allow sunlight into the atmosphere, but then trap the heat in when it tries to escape to space. The earth's system should be balanced with inputs and outputs, but greenhouse gases reduce the output, and therefore warm up the earth.
Humans emit greenhouse gases for many reasons - for transport, industry and much more. They run many of the countries in the world today, and we are reliant on them. More than that, as countries around the world develop, more greenhouse gases are emitted globally, to fuel these growing economies.
Further, carbon sinks are being destroyed. A carbon sink is something that absorbs greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, offsetting global warming, and include the oceans, peat bogs, and forests. As these resources are destroyed or degraded, much of the stored carbon in them is released, and a lot of the carbon we emit is no longer absorbed. The issue extends beyond what we emit, and includes what we do to the earth.
Explore the links below to find out more.
Impacts of Climate Change
So what if the planets warming? Why should we care?
The planet warming will, and is already, having major consequences environmentally, economically, politically and socially. People are dying, conflicts are rife, people are starving, areas are flooding - and it will only get worse.
Climate change means exactly that - a changing climate. Civilisation has built up around a (relatively) static climate, and therefore, climate change has disastrous effects. One of the most obvious effects is the increased power of natural disasters - storms, floods and droughts to name a few. Further, as the climate changes, grain belts change, leading to economic decline in many areas; severe damage to the global economy will likely ensue. The cost of maintaining cities and settlements may increase hugely, further straining the global economy. Yet not just the poor will suffer - everyone, no matter how wealthy, will suffer from the political instability, the health effects, the disasters. We all need to care, as people are already getting hurt, dying, and will continue to do so.
Below are links to where you can discover more for yourself about the impacts of climate change - both on the actual changing climate, and the impacts it is having on humans.
The goal has always been emission reductions, with agreements at Copenhagen, Kyoto and Paris all being major milestones. However, the emissions rates have not lowered - in fact, they have continued to rise, and, though the rate of rising has been reduced, it's simply too little, too late. As time ticks on, it looks increasingly unlikely that we will reduce emissions in time to mitigate the worst of the effects. More than that, we are now at a point where emission reductions will merely prevent future effects intensifying - it won't actually stop the effects caused by the nearly 1 degrees Celsius warming we've already had. Therefore, whilst we must aim for emissions reductions, it also looks increasingly like we must look elsewhere to find a solution to climate change that will work in the short term, and give us enough time to reduce emissions without major impacts on the global economy. Emissions reduction should be the overall aim, but we must realise that it is, realistically, going to be a slow process, and therefore we must seek short-term solutions which will work alongside long-time solutions.
Considering that emission reductions do not seem feasible in time to avoid catastrophe, and to reverse the already terrible effects, new, radical solutions must be thought up to buy us time to slowly reduce emissions, and to avoid the catastrophic consequences. these assortment of solutions must 'engineer' the climate onto a course away from the course of global warming, even reducing it to pre-industrial levels.
Geoengineering could reverse climate change, and save the world. But if it did do so, it would solve global warming without massive changes to our society, without damaging our business community and without massive government investment. There are many different geoengineering strategies which you can explore below. Many of these, however, have significant drawbacks of side effects, feasibility and costs.
Considering that emission reductions do not seem feasible in time to avoid catastrophe, and to reverse the already terrible effects, new, radical solutions must be thought up to buy us time to slowly reduce emissions, and to avoid the catastrophic consequences. These solutions must 'engineer' the climate away from the course of global warming, even reducing it to pre-industrial levels.
Geoengineering could reverse climate change without massive changes to our society, without damaging our business communities, and without massive government investment. There are many different geoengineering strategies which you can explore below. Many of these, however, have significant drawbacks of side effects, feasibility and costs.